Sunday, September 12, 2010

Artist Interview: Julia Rice

What is your name:

Julia Rice

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist:

a mix...I studied English literature in my undergrad and then for 8 years after, painted and took all sorts of art classes. Last year, I did a Master's of Fine Arts at the Utrecht School of the Arts in the Netherlands

What is the style of your pieces:

I make a lot of social artwork, which is often representational and a bit surreal. I also do abstract pieces (with lots of color and design) for something playful and different.
What is the medium in which you work:

I love painting in oil, but I've also worked in acrylic and watercolor. Lately, I've fallen in love with opaque gel pens on thick colored paper for my abstract drawings.

What started you on your path as an artist:

My love of coloring books and coloring contests as a child

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life:

I think art has given me two important things. It brings me joy, color, play, and it is a beautiful way of connecting to other people through my expressions.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in:

Dance. Sometimes I think to myself, in another life, maybe I could have been a dancer...

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like:

I have done different kinds of showings, but my favorite (and ideal) is when I can engage and get feedback from the audience (like having them participate, write something, actively do something, not just look at my work in a static space).

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in:

Not really, although I really had to be careful when I painted in acrylic b/c I tended to "ruin" everything i painted in. Oil is much more forgiving. I have one t-shirt which says "Enjoy art" and has a funny little man on it which I like to paint in (and makes me feel happy).

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist?

Being pigeon-holed as a "feminist" artist. I am a woman and I paint in response to images/messages I see around me. If you are labelled, it's easy to be dismissed, not taken seriously.

What is your favorite sandwich of all time:

Hmmmm. Well, when I was little my dad used to make me scrambled egg with mayo sandwiches to take on the school bus. Fantastic stuff. Also, a good peanut butter and marshmallow fluff comes to mind, although I haven't eaten one for years :).

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they:

Yes, last fall, I moved to the north of Spain. This has influenced my work because a lot of my recent art has been about women's bodies, advertising messages, pressure to look a certain way, specifically taken from life within US culture. From what I've observed, issues are a bit different there. Right now, I'm doing a 3 month art project in San Francisco on women, beauty and aging.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead:

I have a special penchant for women artists, since especially in the past, they have had to work extra hard in the male-driven art world. Right now I am also in love with the bright, colorful murals and graffiti art I see all around San Francisco

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person:

A amazing pieta I saw in the Church of Monserreut in Spain. I'm not sure the painter. I just have the photograph I took about 8 years ago.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work:

I don't have animals right now, but someday soon I would like to begin my collection of dog, cat, goat...I would hope they would be highly supportive of my work (although I'd need to avoid its' proximity to the goat).

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us:

In November, I will have an exhibition at CellSpace in San Francisco on the project I am now doing here. The website link is

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