CHILDHOOD/FAMILY
Julie grew up in Western New York on 3 small farms that specialized in unique and heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables including tree fruits that were over 200 years old. Her maternal grandparents lived on the lake plain (Ontario- north of the Erie Canal), her paternal grandparents were near the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge and Indian Reservation, and her parents on top of the escarpment (south of the Erie Canal). She learned at an early age how to compost, tap a well for irrigation and drinking water as well as the differences in soil composition, and their suitability for growing different edibles; how the land can be used for sustainability and survival; skills that were passed down from many generations. When her friends were on break at Disneyland or at summer sport camp, she and her younger brother were with their parents (mother a florist, father a restoration carpenter/mechanic), primitive camping, foraging, fishing, canoeing, and hiking the Adirondaks, Catskills, and Alleghany mountains, Niagara, Susequehena, and Genessee Rivers, Tonawanda Creek, 1,000 Islands, Finger Lakes, Lakes Erie and Ontario, sandbars and dunes in the Bay of Quinte (Walleye country), and notable NYS waterfalls.

From the age of 10-21, she participated in the 4-H program (an extension of Cornell University) designed for rural

youth. Through this program she studied local geology, entomology, horticulture, culinary, and heritage arts.  Annually, she submitted floral, fruit, vegetable, entomology, geology, heritage arts, and preserve samples for evaluation and competitive score against other 4-Hers statewide often winning state honors for horticulture and heritage arts. She learned how select prime examples, properly press, preserve, and classify floral and leaf samples as well. She was sponsored by Cornell and the Rogers Center to represent Niagara County at Rogers Environmental Education Center in the Hudson Valley to study indigenous plants and animals of that area and assist the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation with routine monitoring and documentation. Each summer she attended a week long summer camp at Cornell University studying food and horticulture sciences with a focus on evolutionary variants, heirloom seeding, hydroponics, grafting, mass manufacturing’s impact on flavor and shelf longevity. At ages 14 and 15 she selected and participated in a Cornell sponsored 4-H student exchange to a commercial wheat farm in Colorado and commercial strawberry farm in Virginia respectively.  The difference between native and commercially grown foods became shockingly obvious.

 

EDUCATION
Julie graduated high school and enrolled in the SUNY system as a Wendell Foundation Scholar.  As a 6th generation American/Native American she was the first person in her family to attend and graduate college as well as leave Western New York. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Fine Art Education (at the time one of 21 programs nationwide) with minors in Art Therapy and Art Restoration.  While enrolled in college, she worked at the Albright Knox and Burchfield Penney Art Galleries in the curatorial departments most notably assisting with the installation of a Dale Chihuly exhibit.  She studied abroad at the Manchester Metropolitain (UK) in the Interactive Arts program under the landscape artist David Smith and satisfied her humanities requirement studying ‘Moral Ethics and Colonialism’.  Her studies there offered her the opportunity to explore the works of Joseph Banks in detail in support of her interest in curation. She lived in student housing at the historic Parrs Woods Estate that was a learning center for elementary level inner city children to experience native and traditional horticulture and permaculture.  As a part of her studies she designed and implemented Fine Art curriculum for this program at age 19. (Unfortunately, this program and historic structure no longer exists). She graduated at the top of her class and earned the national award from the Getty Foundation for Art Education.  She was also a Fulbright finalist proposing to study the educational methods sustained during the Soviet regime that preserved textile heritage arts in the Baltic states; and to write and translate a curriculum that could be integrated into Art Education and Social Studies classrooms. Julie started her MSEd at Canisius College in Educational Technology Administration and Finance in efforts to earn her Superintencency of Schools.

 

CAREER

In 1998, Julie accepted a teaching position in Las Vegas to develop curriculum integrating Fine Art and Technology and to set up distance learning for the AP Fine Art courses administered through Princeton University. Las Vegas at the time did not have a public art museum and the entire state only had two colleges.  Access to education in there (city of Las Vegas founded in 1911, first University opened in 1957) was limited. All of her students received AP college credit.  This was at a new magnet school called ‘Advanced Technologies Academy’ that emphasized diversity and access to education using technology. During her tenure, A-Tech was consistently the #1 performing high school in Nevada and was featured in Newsweek as one of the top 10 schools in the nation.  Julie was named ‘Teacher of the Year’ for Clark County her third year teaching.  Her membership of the Nevada Pastel Society offered an opportunity to display her drawings at a number of Clark County public libraries.  She traveled to Fiji to lecture at the University of Suva and on Labasa (on second northern most island) at Holy Family Schools about the integration of Technology and Fine Art in curriculum. She then traveled to Tasmania to visit her brother for three weeks who was studying biology and ethnobotany at the University of Hobart. There she was able to see first-hand Joseph Banks’ inspiration. After 4 years, Julie returned to NYS to accept a position working for the NYS Education Department helping rural school districts (smallest school district had 14 students total) navigate the staunch state technology access and reporting requirements.  She was at the same time completing her MSEd to become a certified Superintendent of Schools.  At age 27, she completed this goal while finishing her internship in Charleston at the Charleston Day School where she wrote their curriculum, set up their online grading system, and upgraded their website and marketing identity. Julie moved on to teach technological professional development for the Charleston County School District teachers, then advanced to exercise her certification and become one of the IT directors. She was responsible for the IT budget, Acceptable Use Policy, IT procurement, staff (45 persons), phones, internet, datawarehouse, and the website(s).  A company she procured lured her away to work as a consultant servicing the 40 largest school districts in the country in refining their images to the public world through the use of technology, policy, and message; becoming a source of information not a target of criticism. The company was sold and Julie was recruited to teach and write curriculum at the Art Institute (where 80% of the student population received federal tuition assistance) in the Fashion department where she remained an adjunct for 10 years on and off. To supplement her income she worked as a fashion designer (with her own line and as a ghost designer for Neiman Marcus and Steinmart), online vintage retail seller, stylist and tailor in film/TV, and consultant to creative professionals (mostly fine artists and chefs) helping them develop a digital presence and tactile brand identity. Other creative projects include directing the artwork at the Dewberry Hotel (188 rooms) managing commissions, framing and hanging all artwork, developing prints and license agreements for them. They were named by number 30 hotel in the US by World News.  She continues to consult local museums on their curation and installations and has an upcoming exhibit at the historic Aiken Rhett house in Charleston opening February 2023.

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I have never worked full time as an artist selling my work but have educated many and been trained formally.  My acuity for technology, education, and visual communication has made me valuable to the growth and prosperity of others but never allowed time for focus on my own Fine Art as a professional.   My winding career path has given me the opportunity to explore vast and polarizing locations on this earth.  I have been accepted as one of 5 emerging artists to participate in the Denis Diderot foundation residency in Orquevaux, France in June 2023. In December of 2023 I have been invited by Linblad Expeditions and Cultural Sanctuaries to join them in the French Marquesas and do similiarly what I propose to do for AIRIE. I hope to continue my work exploring nature first hand in 2023(the Fall preferably), in the wildest part of my new home state (I moved to Brevard in early 2020); the Everglades. My website is currently under construction will be completed by Thanksgiving 2022 (a requirement of my Orquevaux residency).
https://www.chateauorquevaux.com/

https://www.expeditions.com/

https://culturalsanctuaries.org/

ARTIST STATEMENT

My work in Education has made it evident to me that access to both experiencing nature and learning how to create Fine Art is not available to everyone.  I have great interest in continuing my artwork subject matter of flora and fauna, still life, and landscape as a professional Fine Artist. This effort is supported by my upbringing, educational background and career being a steward of traditional Fine Art methods and making them available to underserved populations.

The theme for AIRIE's 2023 season is How can we make the outdoors a space of belonging? What is your response to this question? How does (or might) your artistic practice be utilized to explore and communicate about equity within the environmental movement?

 

Helping underserved student populations have higher access and understanding to Fine Art has been a theme throughout my professional career. Observing, experiencing, and appreciating nature has been a part of my life since I was a young child. My personal interest in the mystery of nature and light have played an important part in my teaching practices and work as a Fine Artist. I intend to bring this to a residency with AIRIE.  

In preparation for my Everglades National Park AIRIE residency I will work with Friends of the Everglades and the Florida Wildlife Foundation to design and promote a variety of educational opportunities for various groups that are tailored to the season, preservation efforts, extinction awareness, and interested groups in need of inclusion. I will use my relationships with various educational professionals in Florida (due to my past FL K-12 relationships) to maximize this while being open to suggestions. Working in the Fall or Winter of 2023 will give me time to plan and AIRIE to promote as well as complete my show in Charleston (February/March 2023) residency in France (May/June 2023).  I am prepared to be available for teaching, being observed while working, taking interested parties out on tour/for demonstration, or in a park facility (weather pending, I am prepared to work in the rain also!) 3 days/week. I could even conduct a class on the old masters methods of preparing linen canvas and board if there is interest.

 

How can your artistic practice be enhanced and elevated within a residency that focuses on the theme of belonging?

I am excited about having so many additional sets of eyes on this beautiful part of the world! Through teaching classical approaches to observing to create art in the ways that those who pioneered learning and sharing about nature centuries ago, we can collaborate and share critical and momentary observations offered to us in the Everglades during my residency. I hope to help people see the Everglades from an artistic and documentary perspective and build their classical Fine Art skills. The time at this residency with this aided perceptive effort will assist me with creating my greater body of work.  I hope to find a time and place for potential student work to be displayed.

 

Describe what you hope to research, investigate, and achieve as a result of a residency at Everglades National Park. Include scientific, ecological, environmental, and social issues that may be of interest. 

If selected for the AIRIE residency, I intend to research and investigate through onsite observation, written, painted, and drawn documentation of the various landscapes, flora, and fauna during morning, mid-day, and afternoon as specific to whatever season I am selected to participate. I want to explore via classical painting and drawing methods how those categories interact with each other and intersect brief moments of time in the fashion of Joseph Banks and the Dutch still life and landscape artists, but with my personal artistic style.  I believe that without these historical pioneered scientific and real life approaches to documentation we would not have the understanding that we do now for the natural world at large. The Everglades is such a fragile ecosystem that is effected by many volatile natural and unnatural factors. The ‘hunt’ for examples of ‘perfection’ of the natural subject matters in their environments, observing and documenting them in prime or unique moments of light, atmosphere, weather, and time of day so that it can be identified and preserved.  As a result of this residency, I hope to achieve a body of work that is a classical Fine Art example of this unique part of the world (now my home state) that can be shared publicly. This part of the world was for the most part undiscovered and/or not an area of study when the western world was being explored and documented by Europeans.  The reality is that the climate and landscape at the time was unnavigable.  Now that the Everglades National Park and some settlements exist, exploring is less of an obstacle.

 

If selected, I will at my own expense, travel and camp in the area prior so that during my residency I will have a better understanding of where best observation, teaching, and learning can take place. If selected, I can do this research in before the end of 2022.

 

I intend to create a body of work executed with a classical approach that historical masters used to create Art.  I intend to draw and study every day so that I can continue to work upon my return to Brevard with informed content. I intend to leave with a minimum of 3 medium to large and 3 smaller scale oil paintings and completed (or poised for continued completion in my home studio) at the end of this residency. (30x30 or larger/20x20 or smaller, on traditional hide glue/gesso hand stretched linen canvases or prepared birch panels.)

 

If you are accepted to the AIRIE residency, do you have partners that would be involved in your work?

If so, please explain. 

If selected, I would like to invite two of the artists that have been m­­­y clients in the past to join me for a moment to offer sagely friendly advice and/or assist with the educational sessions or possible host one of their own. Also, it would be an opportunity for them to promote the Everglades and/or perhaps be inspired to work there as well. It is not a guarantee that Lynne would join because she is also an educator. Douglas traveled to the Everglades when he was in High School for a wilderness outing with school, LOVES it and has more flexibility and the desire to work there again.  He is expert at portraiture and could be valuable to the Everglades National Park AIRIE effort. They both have classical approaches to their artistic process and style. They both also work from life observation,that I believe is the most genuine and raw approach to creating artwork as do they, and their work and recognition speaks for itself.  Experiencing and documenting the moment in the moment is unparalled.

www.lynneriding-art.com
www.douglasbalentine.com