Julie Shelton Smith


Photograph of Julie Smith
Two seemingly opposing things have always interested me: the human figure and the connection to life and the world around me that I feel when drawing or painting the figure, and abstract composition and the vitality experienced while arranging and rearranging shapes and colors. Collage and computer technology are two methods that I employ to make use of the human figure and parts of the human figure as design elements in the creation of a satisfying composition. The addition of colors and shapes from magazine cutouts adds further depth and complexity to the composition.

Adobe Photoshop allows me to rearrange the figure in ways that create new and interesting lines and trajectories. The collage element allows me to intersect these cognitive figure shapes with unconscious surprises. This in turn opens up layer upon layer of visual complexity onto which I can then add more paint or collage until finally something coherent and visually alive evolves.

There are no doubt endless cultural analogies that come to mind between the fractured figures and our fractured lives, between the complexity of elements in a painting and the complexity in our lives and so on and so forth. But what continues to fascinate and motivate me is the mysterious life, movement, and resonance that can be created in a simple two dimensional space.

Julie Shelton Smith - June 18, 2003


Julie Shelton Smith has exhibited, lectured, and taught in the New England area for the past three decades. She originates from Amarillo, Texas and received her BFA in painting from the University of Texas at Austin in 1969. She attended the Center of the Eye School of Photography in Aspen, CO in the early 70's before moving to the New England area where she now lives and works in Newport, RI. In 1993, she received her MFA with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Recent solo exhibitions of note are, "Rebuilding The Body", in 2001 at the Newport Art Museum and also her solo exhibit of the same name at the Triangle Art Gallery at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio in 2003. In 2004, she will exhibit at Fraser Gallery in Washington, D.C. She is represented by Fraser Gallery in the Washington, D.C. area.

Since 1994 Ms. Smith has taught primarily at St. George's School in Newport, RI.

Recent awards include partial funding for the "Rebuilding The Body" brochure from the National Endowment for the Humanities, RI affiliate and first prize/Best in Show at the Newport Art Museum Juried Members Exhibition, 2000, and more. Her work is included in public and private collections in New England, Texas, and Pennsylvania.

Art Work

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