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Welcome

About Julie's work

The tradition of visually depicting our American sense of place has been a critical historical documentation of the evolution of our country.  From the very early work of Grandma Moses to the more contemporary hip-hop work of Justin Bua  artists have depicted our interaction with one another, our urban, suburban, and rural landscape and architecture. Georgia O’Keeffe’s early abstractions in the early 1900’s introduced the world to the growing economic power of New York City. Reginald Marsh captured the vitality of the African-American community during the 1920’s Harlem renaissance. American Regionalist artwork of Mid Western artists Grant Wood and John Stuart Curry reminded our country of its rural heritage, while simultaneously Edward Hopper was creating his famous painting NightHawks II depicting individual disconnection. The tradition of this art has been to portray both the grit and alienation of our cities, suburbs and rural communities while portraying our country’s innate natural and human created beauty. The artwork for this show was created in the visual tradition of depicting our daily life. I have also been inspired by the experiences of living and working within a city facing dynamic challenges of changing demographics, societal perceptions, a growing rural/suburan community and increasing poverty creating a new found 21st century tension. 

Over the past two decades I have spent my professional life immersed in the issues of racism and classism and its impact on public education and community development. I have come to believe that our sense of place; where we were born, where our ancestors came from or where we currently reside plays a critical role in how we define ourselves, how we perceive one another and how we make decisions about what type of community we want to become.  It is through the varied experiences we all have that create significant tensions in our community. Through my professional life as a community youth worker and school district employee I have witnessed these tensions such as the conflict between the rural farming community and the encroaching ring of development from suburban communities. Tensions between our city and suburban neighborhoods as businesses move outside of our city walls to settle in outlying communities with lower tax rates and more land. Tensions between the residents of our city as individuals with urban expectations and life experiences move into a city that while a city, didn’t have so-called urban issues. These tensions affect us on a daily basis, as we go about the work of answering questions such as what is a safe community? What is the role public education in a child’s life? What is the role of public government, private business and the individual citizen?   The perceptions that each of us carry create widely different answers to these questions forming a unique but challenging world.

As those artists that have come before me, this show is merely a visually recording of the world in which I live.

 

Artwork by Roger Koenke, Julie's Dad

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