Julia Whitney Brown graduated with a BFA in Ceramics & BS in Education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Julia's practice is influenced by her experiences growing up in a tight-knit alt-right fundamental Christian community. When she defied her father’s wishes to attend a liberal arts university her work experienced an explosion of divergence as she started making meaningful contact with others from different backgrounds. She made it a point to gain as many outside perspectives on 'how to live' as possible. From these experiences she learned art may not only be an avenue for healing, but a tool for solving and acknowledging difficult problems. Art became the medium for which she could build a bridge between herself and 'the world.'
In 2010 she presented her research on, “China Painting on Wood fired Surfaces” at NCECA in Philadelphia, PA.
In 2015 she curated an invitational exhibition titled, “The Clay Way,” which included over 60 professional artists from over 20 states.
On the Farm and in the Studio
Learn more about what Julia is up today in Kalamazoo, MI. in this short video
Check out Julia on paper. AKA her Resume and Qualifications.
My practice attempts to deepen meaningful connections between people, their environment, and their perceptions. As a practitioner of creativity, my work has many directions. It takes the form of social projects, craft pottery, and at times as an opportunity to engage in personal expression/voice.
As social projects, my work with Old School Farm Pottery and Communion, are intended to be experienced in a community, as a social experience, and conversation. My intention is to enact lasting positive social change and engagement through collaborations with individuals, communities, and institutions. These social projects are not always concrete- as people walk away with an experience, a full belly, or a relationship rather than an object. The main goal in my social projects is to create sustainable knowledge, ways of working, and systems for others to thrive in their daily lives.
Through my craft pottery practice I hope to present the values of modesty and active listening through the design and creation of objects intended to be the frame for something larger than itself; ie. the ritual of eating. The hope of my simple and classic designs are to not only showcase our most important commodity, food: but to also slow down the moment as someone notices how a glaze glows softly in the sunlight, or a specific mark elevates their experience. All ware is always microwave, oven, and dishwasher safe.
In between the spaces of my practice as a studio potter and social collaborator, I engage with clay as a journal to my personal experiences and emotions via play and mark making.
These poetic pieces act as a symbol to my perceptions and experiences. They sit between my more intentional works- similar to rests within a musical composition or a play of language where traditional logical thought is not paramount.
This process of moving between collaborative spaces, historical craft, and personal expression allows me freedom to learn in ways that impact my whole person. Therefore, success within my practice is a continual cycle of learning about others, the world, and how my perceptions of these experiences translate into meaningful actions