Julie Weaverling, artist and director of Front Porch Art Gallery. Fibre Arts Take Two spoke to Julie about her gallery, art and dreams.
Julie Weaverling’s Friday Feature Artist Interview can be found at the bottom of this page.
As a director of Front Porch Gallery, a nonprofit gallery in Carlsbad, California, Julie Weaverling spends her day’s curating exhibits, working with region-based artists, and overseeing the operations, including developing programmes for residents of the Front Porch communities. She also judges exhibitions for the gallery and outside organisations.
With a unique artistic voice, Julie also creates her own abstract artwork, where she strives to uplift to elicit feeling and thought. Her desire is to create beauty in her work without it having to be ‘pretty’. Julie is launching a global art project called Lift the Sky and says it is for artists to offer their messages to the world, purely visual, all words, or a combination of both. Fibre Arts Take Two enjoyed chatting with Julie about her gallery, art and dreams.
As an artist, Julie has no formal training, “Primarily, I’m self-taught,” she says, “I actually studied Business Marketing and Management in college. But I’ve always done art, and then I started doing different art workshops to give something back to myself. I started out as a plein-air landscape painter, and that’s definitely not me, so I’ve taken inspiration from a few great artists I’ve worked with.”
The Front Porch Gallery
Julie is the director of the Front Porch Art Gallery, a nonprofit art gallery in Carlsbad, California.
“The gallery is about a block from the beach in Carlsbad,” she says, “which is great. The gallery is an Outreach Programme for a very large nonprofit called Front Porch, and we’re really a part of the community. I believe strongly that art creates community, and they’re linked. That’s what we’re doing here. Front Porch has 19 full retirement communities and about 35 to 40 affordable housing communities, so I run the gallery. I also do programming for residents at the retirement communities.”
The importance of community
During the pandemic, the importance of community was firmly drummed into Julie’s mind very firmly “Residents who usually have very vibrant lives in the community, all of a sudden were literally locked down in their apartments,” she says, “So I started calling people and asking them how they were doing and what I found was the residents I was calling, mostly the artists that I’ve worked with, I found that the residents who were doing something creative, that they were just doing fine. The people who couldn’t get themselves to create were not doing well.”
Realising this, Julie looked for ways to introduce creativity into the lives of all Front Porch residents, “One of the people I had talked to,” Julie says, “told me that she contacted her fellow residents and said, ‘Why don’t we all just start knitting squares with whatever leftover yarn we have? And then we can put it together to make a quilt.’ I heard that and thought, ‘Oh, that’s so awesome. I’m going to try to get collaborative quilts created in all of the communities. So that’s what we did.”
In her own artistic endeavours, Julie recently discovered the Korean art of Joomshi, “When I was researching for a show for the gallery, she says, “I came across these two things. One was Pojagi, and the other was Joomshi. They’re both Korean art forms, and then I was just kind of looking around, and I saw that there was a workshop happening in Minnesota in the summer, and it had both of those things, so I went, and the funny thing was, I was the only person there who was just kind of clueless, I had no idea.”
When it came time to choose which discipline to explore at the workshop, the decision was made for Julie, “Pojagi is sewing with a sewing machine, which I don’t know how to do, so I went with the Joomshi,” says Julie, “Joomshi is basically taking layers of Korean mulberry paper, which has long fibres, and then you go through what’s kind of a filtering process. It’s like a 26-step process to turn these individual pieces into one combined piece, which feels quite like fabric.”
Lift The Sky – exhibit.
Julie will soon launch her art gallery into the public eye, “Right now, we are preparing for the inaugural exhibition, of Lift The Sky” she says, “And I say that because I hope there will be many, many, more.
Lift the Sky is a project designed to create community, and inspire thought and action. Artworks are created as messages for the world powered by the desire to offer visions of hope about what the world can be. Artists and others are creating their messages as artwork which are then attached to one another to create long panels which hang from above (sky). These panels will be seen as installations in public spaces, museums, galleries and anywhere imaginable
Right now, I have 76 individual pieces that I’ve received, and I’m hoping for hundreds. I plan to have the exhibition here, and then I could apply to bring it to Australia; that’d be fun. And I want to keep building it. I’m funding the whole thing; it’s like my baby. I would hope to be able to get some grants or something to help people that are from distant parts of the world that may not have the money to send the piece, to be able to reimburse a little bit for shipping, but there’s no cost to participate or anything, and the more, the merrier!”
You can participate and find out more here: www.liftthesky.com
About the artist
Born and raised in Colorado, Julie lives and works in Southern California.
Art and music have always been essential parts of her life. After studying business in college, a trip to Florence, Italy, impacted Julie’s life. So inspired by the art there, she was determined to change her life, take her art to the next level and earn her living through art. Julie serves as Director of Front Porch Gallery, a nonprofit gallery in Carlsbad, CA where she has worked since January 2006. There she curates exhibits, works with region-based artists, and oversees operations, including developing programs for residents of Front Porch Communities.
Julie has continued to develop her technical knowledge and skills through self-study and workshops, including with Rebecca Crowell in Ireland in 2015 and 2017, Krista Harris in 2019 and Nicholas Wilton.
With a unique artistic voice and evocative exploration of our shared human workings, Julie strives to uplift by creating artworks to elicit feeling and thought. Her desire is to create beauty in her work without it having to be pretty.