Member Spotlight: Julia Feldman
April 22, 2020
Our second member highlight for April is Santa Rosa-based Julia Feldman.
Julia’s work reflects concern for repairing the earth and encouraging conversation through art that works toward a kinder, more peaceful world. Julia earned a Master of Art + Design, with an emphasis in Surface Design and a Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching from North Carolina State University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from California College of the Arts, with an emphasis in Sculptural Fibers and Metal. Julia has a special interest in creating fiber with metal materials and using fiber materials to mimic metal. Her background and her life traveling and living in Europe, Nicaragua, and the United States influence her art. In her previous life she was a jeweler, a small business owner, a children’s wear designer, and a teacher. She is also a mom, a spouse, and a rescuer of Afghan hounds, and currently resides and works in Santa Rosa, California. Julia teaches workshops and individual classes.
I am an artist of fibers, prints, drawings, and sculpture interested in creating art and conversation as an avenue towards repairing the world. Working predominantly in the medium of fibers with a strong facility for found materials, I am intrigued with throwaway items. With a sense of play, a commitment to question, and a desire for the viewer to contemplate, my art seeks to create a pleasurable perplexity, followed by a contemplation of meaning.
I gravitate toward forms both huge and microscopic. Combining the animal and minerals, what is made by nature and components of human design, this pillaging of existing paraphernalia and combining it with tangible prophecy based in facts, is an ongoing source of fascination and deep aesthetic pleasure. I find the trappings of society rearranged and viewed differently than the original intent continually engaging.
Using the connection between art and social commentary to locate common ground and bring people together, I see an artist’s primary role and function as a catalyst that inspires worthwhile conversation, and action that can amplify what is in our daily vision. I want my artwork to be approachable yet hold a slightly hidden agenda requiring thoughtful reflection to discover a deeper meaning. Not just another charming picture.
I explore elements of systems to create ambiguity, layering lines and working with positive and negative space in unnatural scales that create adumbrations for an intimate study of the intersection of colors, texture, and patterns. My stitching is more intuitive than sequential, yet very deliberate. While investigating density and transparency in fibers I am reorganizing cellular structures and organisms, working with images of circulatory systems, and maps. Many of my pieces feature colorful, child-like imagery, and text resonating simultaneously into themes both intimate and universal.
Because much of the world does not pay attention to our increasingly fragile climate, I am reexamining some of the reminders of mass extinctions: loss of rainforests, both temperate and tropical, that will make a radically fast moving climate change the norm. My work is focused on a vision of extinct species, and of future forests that are made of nothing but sticks, concrete and other man-made detritus, a future fossilized past that looks nothing like the current landscape. My Themes are as familiar as domestic life, and as dire as the mass extinction of plant and animal species, not excluding human life.