Julia Gartrell is a sculptor who uses wood, textiles, native North Carolina clay, plaster, and found objects to interrogate material usage in traditional Appalachian craft.  Reuse of material and “making do” are central to her explorations.  The research grounding Julia’s work focuses on her paternal ancestors, who were subsistence farmers in rural north Georgia.  Oral history, lore, and relics are among the things gathered for her practice.

Julia was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina.  She received an MFA in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design (2015) and a BA in art from Kalamazoo College (2008).  She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has participated in residencies at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Ox-Bow School of Art in Michigan, Ifitry Artist’s Residency in Morocco.

She is currently living in Durham, NC and teaching part-time in the sculpture department of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.