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Jonathan Rajewski

Lecturer I



Curriculum Vitae
  • MFA, Painting & Printmaking, Yale University
  • BA, Philosophy, Michigan State University

Jonathan Rajewski is an artist and writer.

In 2013, Rajewski co-founded the Hamtramck Free School, an alternative, rhizomatic educational organization that facilitates creative writing and visual art workshops in Michigan prisons, working closely with juveniles who were sentenced to mandatory life without parole, a sentence that is now unconstitutional. At the Hamtramck Free School, community members identify learning goals, collectively plan courses, and teach and learn from each other. Over the last decade, the Hamtramck Free School has published numerous books by incarcerated writers. In 2021, the Free School published How to Start a Writing Workshop (Free School Press), a manual co-constructed with incarcerated poets, artists and activists throughout the United States in response to the precarity of educational programming inside prisons and with the aim of supporting the emergence of autonomous creative writing workshops without permission and without state approval. In 2022, he published an essay on liberatory pedagogical practices, within and without the studio and classroom, in Wreck After Wreck: 5 Years of Critical Practice at Yale School of Art, 2016–2020 (Yale University). Since 2020, Rajewski has been the Arts Editor for Three Fold Press, an independent quarterly based in Detroit that presents exploratory points of view on arts, culture and society.

Rajewski’s drawings, paintings, and sculptural work involve accumulation, collage, failure, material enjambment, and how line, shape and form emerge through improvisation in a manner that prioritizes process and time over thing. Since 2019, a daily practice of sphereing encountered materials has resulted in an ongoing, personal memory work, a production of condensation points that demarcate time and function as an object-clock. He has exhibited at Nina Johnson Gallery, Miami, Fl; Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY; Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, NY; Lyles & King, New York, NY; Reyes Finn, Detroit, MI; Tripoli, Southampton, NY; Alöise, Barcelona, Spain; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. He is a 2015 Kresge Fellow in Visual Art and a 2021 Critical Practice Research Grant recipient from the Yale School of Art. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Yale Review, Three Fold Press, Mousse Magazine, The Exhibitionist (MIT Press), and Essay’d (Wayne State University Press). He received a BA in Philosophy from Michigan State University and an MFA in Painting & Printmaking from the Yale School of Art. He lives and works in Detroit, Michigan.