Yet another Friday has rolled around and we are back at in again in the Griffin State of Mind. We are ready for the dawn of the weekend, but before you settle beside your Friday night campfire with some toasty s’mores, let’s see what our Director of Programs has to say about what puts her in the Griffin State of Mind.
Julie has been with the Griffin for ten years now and currently working as the Director of Programs. Some may say she is the “woman behind the curtain” when it comes to all things classes, programs, and talks hosted by the Griffin.
More recently we got the chance to get to know more about her green thumb and outstanding love for fine art photography.
If you could be in a room with anyone to have a one on one conversation about anything, who would that person be and what would you talk about?
I can think of three people off the top of my head, all artists, and all who carved time out for their practice against the current of everyday life – Julia Margaret Cameron, Virginia Woolf, and Allen Ginsberg.
I know there are many more people I would like to talk with, but these three came into my life as beacons at important developmental moments, so it would be nice to meet with them, learn more from them, and have the chance to thank them each for their legacy and vision.
What is one of your favorite exhibitions shown by the Griffin?
One of my favorite shows at The Griffin was False Food by Jerry Takagawa. It was soon after I began my role at the museum, and I was able to meet the artist, hear Paula’s curatorial perspective, and see how photography as fine art was a vehicle for this important environmental message.
Describe how you first connected with the Griffin. How long have you been part of the Griffin team and please describe your role at the Griffin.
I first connected with the Griffin ten years ago, when I moved to the area from London. I was so excited to learn of the Griffin and its focus on fine art photography – it was one of the first phone calls that I made.
I volunteered there that first summer and then I was then part of the community, taking a few classes and attending shows and events for five years. In 2015, Paula approached me to ask if I would like to be the Director of Programs.
I was delighted, and have enjoyed that role very much. As the Director of Programs, I help organize talks, programs, and classes for the museum.
Can you describe one photograph that recently caught your eye?
This photograph [Ta-Dah Pour Deux by Gary Nellis] was recently featured in YourDailyPhotograph.com.
This photograph captures a moment of stillness in performance, a spotlighted duo in shadow, high above the world. It feels nostalgic, it captures the imagination, and the composition keeps my eye and my spirit of adventure roving around the image with excitement. It shows comfort in the midst of risk.
How do you involve photography in your everyday?
I am always thinking about photography. In addition to my work at the museum, I follow various artists on Instagram, follow blog postings, stay connected to the photography happenings in the Boston region, I am involved in a “salon” group where we discuss our own work, I photograph, and I teach photography.
What has been the most eye opening part of our time of physical distancing?
Well, from the museum point of view, social distancing has allowed us to focus on the tools of virtual connection to stay together as community, and it has broadened our reach. We are now able to regularly connect with photographers and friends outside of New England.
So, though we have not been able to meet in person, we have connected in new and exciting ways with people across the US and internationally during this time.
On a personal level, I have wanted to grow a vegetable garden for seven years, and I am now focusing on tomato seedlings, growing beans up poles, and planing those potato spuds that have started sprouting! Can’t wait to harvest these things!!!
What is your favorite place to escape to in nature…mountains? beach? woods? and why?
I love to go to the ocean, or a lake, or a river. Water soothes me, the power of the ocean tides awe me, the river current carries life. I grew up on an island in the middle of a swift and wide river, so water has always been my go to place for calm.
What is one book, song, or other visual obsession you have at the moment?
I have been journalling a bit – a bit like the gardening – I am enjoying having time to slow down, to think, to plan, to ground myself. My seedlings and the growing plants are my visual obsession at the moment!