Julie Farstad, who joined the painting faculty in 2005 at the Kansas City Art Institute, received her B.F.A. Degree in Painting from the University of Notre Dame and her M.F.A. Degree in Painting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, graduating summa cum laude from both institutions. She has exhibited her work nationally, and is represented in New York by Ricco/Maresca Gallery, in Chicago by Zolla Lieberman Gallery and in Kansas City by Byron Cohen Gallery.
Most recently, Julie’s work has been selected for the Women to Watch 2010 Exhibition at the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Before moving to Kansas City, Julie lived in Chicago, where she taught, exhibited her work and was the co-founder, co-editor and co-publisher of mouthtomouth magazine, an independent, interview format contemporary arts magazine that focused on the Chicago art scene.
In my work, I seek to explore themes of childhood, specifically the psychological dramas of girlhood, femininity and feminism. My paintings focus primarily on the doll as subject, and I use children’s toys and landscape references to create images that are about identity development, rites of passage, and my own experiences of childhood and adolescence. My practice is labor intensive, not only in the course of painting, but also in that I sculpt many of my paintings’ subjects out of papier-mâché or play dough before photographing them, in order to create the source images for my paintings. This process serves to underline the theme of childhood within the work, while also presenting the idea of experience as being an event that is dynamically created through perception, memory and invention.