© 2016 by Julie Glass

Artist Statement and Biographical Sketch.

 

I have many years of education, but not in fine art.  I am almost totally self taught in the field of art, other than a few design classes at Louisiana Tech and several painting and mixed media workshops.  I am primarily interested in experimenting with materials and processes and am happiest when I am making up a new method of creating a sculpture. 

 

I have  lived in Shreveport all my life, except for six years while attending LSU and LSU Law School in Baton Rouge.  After many years of working as a municipal attorney, I began to feel an urge to create art. It started with simple, folk art style pieces made from found objects and materials, such as old fence boards and Jello molds.  

 

For several years I had been noticing pieces of blown-out tire tread on the side of the road. Each piece was different and had its own personality.  My found-object habit began to escalate when my partner agreed to help me retrieve some of these from our local highways.  As a cop, she knows traffic safety.  I really like the idea of taking a material like this out of the waste stream and making it into art.  These tire treads, plus paint and resin, were the materials that led me into making the Pods and Vessels series. Rather than plan a sculpture in detail in advance, I enjoy letting the materials show me what they want to do.  The Pods and Vessels sculptures were whimsical and odd, and people loved them. That show almost sold out. 

 

The next turning point in developing my work came when I learned to weld.  With a little help on the basics from my son, I mostly taught myself to weld using a borrowed welder.  I loved it and soon bought a MIG welder of my own.  Later I bought an oxy-acetylene torch and with a little help from a friend, I taught myself to bend and cut the metal.  I initially used the welding and bending to create armatures to shape the tire tread. Very soon I realized the welded metal was becoming not just an armature, but an eye-catching part of the design.  You can see that in the Potential  sculpture on my homepage. 

 

In 2012, I started taking walking breaks instead of coffee breaks from work. Walking around the downtown area, I began to notice intriguing designs in the cracks in concrete sidewalks and streets. Some were abstract and some were figures.  Since I had started welding three dimensional sculptures, I began to extrapolate the two dimensional designs into three dimensions. This is the opposite of what representational painters do, which is to take a three dimensional form and present it in two dimensions.   I also liked the idea of making something usually thought of as a detriment (cracks in the concrete) into something attractive and interesting. 

 

My next series, Half Way Between Eunice and Mamou, will be based on the wonderful shapes and textures of Louisiana geography, water and land masses. Stay tuned.