About Julie Strong
Julie Strong was born in Salt Lake City, UT, and grew up in Alpine, UT, where she began to study classical ballet and noticed an interest in sketching and drawing. As a student at East High School in Salt Lake City, one of her pencil drawings was purchased by the school through their student art program. After high school, she danced professionally with Wisconsin Ballet Theater, furthering her love of artistic things through physical, artistic expression and classical music.
Life, marriage, and a beautiful son took her into Canada, Montana, and Idaho. During this time, she explored sewing and costume making for Idaho Falls School of Ballet where she also taught and choreographed. Eventually, she started work with embroidery and various stitching on felted materials, partially inspired by her mother’s own love of stitching. Julie explored a method of incorporating felted pieces onto clothing and belts, furthering her journey towards embroidery on felted pieces as art. During this time, she explored the mountains in the Teton range, and developed a reverent respect for the magnificence and power of nature, whose influence can be seen in her works. Later, she returned to her home state of Utah, where she now resides, and continues her exploration of the Wasatch mountains and various areas in nearby deserts and mountains.
Through life experiences and continually evolving understanding of spirituality, Julie and continues to broaden her expression of meaning through art. Life is never stagnant. It continually evolves and metamorphoses through relationships of what is known and wanted to be known. Her work reflects her belief that the value of life exists in the act of creation, not simply the finished product. It is in each little minute detail, and our relationship to them, that creates a conscious and beautiful life. One that can experience all that comes and creates a thing of beauty.
Thoughts On Art
Art is dynamic poetry, functioning imagination, active creation. As an artist, I see my art as what unfolds as it unfolds, and for me is quite a different thing than what is created. What is left over, the thing that can be hung on a wall, is the result of the artistic process. It is both a testament to its dynamic life and an image through which to be inspired by. Once the piece is completed, it becomes for me, a relic of the art I experienced during its creation. At this point, the potential for creative link shifts and becomes for the viewer, the possibility for their own creativity. Their own art.
If there’s a goal to art, it would be to facilitate a relationship with something outside of ourselves (inspiration, spirit, divinity, God) by providing an opportunity for interconnectivity through mediums such as images, music, or poetic words. Some of us have been in that space where we are moved so profoundly by an artistic work that we’re certain our lives have been forever changed. Sometimes, the feeling is more subtle and a piece might bring up a pleasant sense of joy or happiness or even unease. However a piece affects you, the recognition of the connection is as significant as the connection itself.
When creating a work, I'm heavily reliant on the personality of the materials and find that most times, they know what they want to do. Starting with a loosely-held idea, shape, or color, the base is hand-felted, then bits of wool, cotton, silk, and beads, and other materials are layered in multiple times and stitched to the point where the piece feels whole. Most of my pieces are framed by old and antique frames which I repair and refinish with the final piece in mind.
Each person will see, hear, and feel a different song through these images, which is precisely how it should be. Like snowflakes, no two experiences are alike.
… “for the heliotrope moves to the extent that it is free to move, and in its rotation, if we could hear the sound of the air buffeted by its movement, we should be aware that is is a hymn to its king, such as it is within the power of a plant to sing.” Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi ~ Henry Corbin