Artist Feature: Julie Briggs

The following is a blog post from my fellow collaborator across the world, Julie Briggs.

Find more of her writing and artworks:

Arts Territory Exchange – Places – Spaces 2019

Julie Briggs _Arts Territory Exchange

As a part of an Arts Territory Exchange (ATE), I am creating work along with Catherine Reinhart ( of Iowa USA, with whom ATE has paired me. The brief from ATE is to consider place and ideas of remoteness. Artists are invited to interpret these themes in very broad ways.

Through this residency I am thinking about remoteness in two senses. The first is remoteness from my “self” that I have experienced, and how making time for art brings me close to myself, while the minutia of daily “tending” keeps me distant, from my core self. The second is a remoteness I believe we inadvertently create in the way we tend to think about our “place” on planet earth.

Writer Virginia Woolf in a 1929 essay decried the lack of creative spaces experienced by women, arguing that a woman needed “a room of one’s own” in order to enjoy the same privilege that men of her time enjoyed.  More recently Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Brigid Schulte, penned an essay arguing that in fact little has changed and that women still struggle to free themselves from the daily tasks of tending to others. She cites a study indicating the length of unbroken free time a woman might experience in a day averages 10 minutes. As I sit here typing, I have a to-do list with items pending: i) call father about ailing mother ii) clean brother-in-law’s unit iii) bring in washing, fold and store iv) grocery shop v) accept quote vi) fill in medical form vii) complete financial form viii) and it goes on. My repeated thought: how long can I spend at my blog? In 2014 Brigid Schulte noted a similar list plus many unanticipated tasks had delayed her production of this very essay.

This is not to say that the many tasks we undertake are not important or valued. Of course we care for our loved people, of course we need to eat, and there is satisfaction to be found here. The issue is the relentlessness and ever-present nature of women’s work, measured against the luxury of the clearly defined dedicated time and space allowed to men who undertake creative lives.

In my writings and visual works for our joint project, both Catherine and I are thinking about the labour involved in creating a place for ourselves and our family, and at the same time about the labour involved in knowing our larger space i.e. mapping geography and topography.

In thinking about the implications of “knowing” our place on the Earth, I consider first “my place”, a regional farming area sometimes considered a remote place, and examine how we might frame this “knowing” in terms of our ecological footprint.

Australian Environmental philosopher Val Plumwood (1939 – 2008) in her 2008 essay Shadow Places and the Politics of Dwelling made the case for a broader view of what we refer to as “my place”. She argued that traditional individualistic ways of thinking about our “place” in which we honour it “…in its singular idealised place consciously identified with self…” is a dematerialised version of place.

I recommend the Arts Territory Exchange program to any artists interested in working remotely with artists from distant spaces. It’s a generous whole-hearted program founded by Gudrun Filipska. Follow them on Instagram @artsterritoryexchange or learn more at

Studio Sale!

Hey All! I am moving studios and need to clear out a fantastic selection of prints, framed work, and art supplies. Stop by and add a new, original artwork to your collection. I have had the honor of selling many works to various local friends and collectors. These pieces have become cherished objects in their homes.

One yellow print even inspired the owner to paint her kitchen yellow!

She had forgotten how much she liked yellow. Art reminded her.

Meet Bob Anders and Deb Anders-Bond

Local Artists and Art Collectors with my print!

Local Artists and Art Collectors with my print!

Bob and Deb were one of the first collectors to invest in my work. I met Deb at ISU while studying printmaking. She is an accomplished artist in her own right and they are known about town as a creative duo. Their home is filled with artwork from floor to ceiling. Here they are with my work between them.

Be like Bob and Deb.

Bob and Deb Rock.





Catharanthus Roseus & Misoprostol | My Story

For the sake of a renewed practice of vulnerability (thanks to my wonderful neighbor’s book, Embracing Weakness: The Unlikely Secret to Changing the World, Shannon K. Evans - Buy this book right now!) and a need to respond to the current news cycle, here is my story of the work Catharanthus Roseus & Misoprostol.

Catharanthus Roseus & Misoprostol, Relief, cyanotype, and paper piecing, 12” x 12”, 2017.

Catharanthus Roseus & Misoprostol, Relief, cyanotype, and paper piecing, 12” x 12”, 2017.

I have resolved to share my stories.

This print was created for a print exchange called Pieced, the impetus of which was to combine printmaking and quilting. Catharanthus Roseus & Misoprostol measures 12” x 12” (a common quilt block dimension) and is made of two layer with multiple techniques.

The bottom layer is a cyanotype (after many failure a screen printing the fine pattern) of a floral design that includes the Catharanthus Roseus, or Periwinkle, a twinning flower historically symbolizing marital fidelity and Misoprostol, or Plan B, colloquially known as the abortion pill.

Catherine Reinhart_ cyanotype
Designed Pattern.

Designed Pattern.

Catherine Reinhart_ Pieced

Printed atop this floral pattern is a quilt block patter of a circle shape. This pattern comes from an old quilt I had as a teenager. A quilt I slept under and loved to pieces during the time this story takes place.

This quilt is now the one I am hand mending with my community for my project the Collective Mending Sessions.

It is a quilt I told my mother to throw away.

In her wisdom, she did not.

Quilt from teenage years, mended 2018 - present. Ongoing.

Quilt from teenage years, mended 2018 - present. Ongoing.

The top layer is pieced Japanese paper, delicate and translucent, block printed with a quilt block patter called Cross & Crown. This pattern is symbolic for the emblems of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Catherine Reinhart_ Pieced
Catherine Reinhart_Pieced

This beautiful pattern shielded and hidden by the geometric pattern of the gospel story is an apt metaphor for a deeply personal and (formerly) painful story.

When I was a teenager, sleeping every night under this quilt I am mending now, I took the Plan B pill.

I still remember driving to the clinic, 30 mins from my home, with my boyfriend. Not talking at all. I never really found out if we had truly gotten pregnant (taking the test seemed like a Goliath sized endeavor).

I was just scared and torn. My young faith imbued in my heart that life was sacred. But he was scared and the fear was a palpable motivator.

I still cannot say for sure whether I am glad that the clinic was available to me. They didn’t ask to many questions (not that I recall) and it seemed like a much bigger deal inside of me. Of course now, you can get this medication over the counter. But then, to my 17-18 year old self, it was as if the ground had shifted and I was broken.

It ended the relationship. It changed the way I viewed God.

I became convinced that because I did not want a baby then, that surely when I wanted to have children I would be unable. God would punish me that way.

But you see, as I found out, that is simply not how my God is.

He waited for me to draw near a year or two later. I learned the great salve of his gentle, patient love. he continued to redeem that great hurt, that great ache, through my loving husband.

Through a graced filled ( and mistake filled) marriage.

Through two beautiful (and mischievous) children.

Like this print, marital faithfulness and growth are tired up with a past full of indiscretions and hurts. They are intertwined. I simply do not think I will get rid of the sting from that decision. But Christ came and he gently covered all of that history. The final result is complex, subtle, and treasured.

For it is my story. And it is an honor to share it.

This print is currently up at the Octagon Center for this Arts, shown alongside my former printmaking professor, April Katz in Twenty Years: Print Retrospective through August 17, 2019.

Power of Place Video

See me at 1:34 talking about the power of liminal spaces and how motherhood shifted my perspective.

Morning Bell + Shipping Work + Workshop

Wow, it has been a week.

Currently, waiting for labels to print for a last minuet exhibit at Morning Bell. I will install about 10 works tomorrow from Common Threads and my quilt drawings series.

So I walk into the marvelous Morning Bell LAST WEEK and Nadav says “ Want to hang your work now?” He kindly mentioned my previous attempts at selling work (thanks for watching my posts Morning Bell!) and suggested having these up during the holidays might move ‘em.

So I say yes. Framing and labels commence. Stop by for a drink and buy some art.

Catherine Reinhart_quilt drawings

Shipping Work

Tomorrow between the hours of 3-5pm (just like the electrician) I will have legitimate Art shippers come…..

to my studio…….

to pack up my work……….

for my first museum show………

Catherine Reinhart Manifold Landscapes

Way back. On Tuesday :)

I traveled to the wonderful Graceland University to give a workshop for the A Collection of Gestures exhibition. This is a group show centering around social practices.

It was divine. Thanks for having me. Images to come.

Editing Day!

Today was studio and image prep day. While applying for an (awesome!) show, I found out that we could only submit one image. At first I was discouraged because my works would benefit from multiple images.

However, I edited the views together into one jpeg and ….


Catherine Reinhart_FED
Catherine Reinhart_Domestic Sediment
Catherine Reinhart_Textiles + Topography:Sampler

Studio Sale 2018 - Shop Small Saturday

Shop Small this 2018 Season!

Hats off to my first attempt selling work on the Saturday Shop Small movement.

Two featured Series:

Leisure Suit Series & Quilt Block Drawings

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 10.19.54 AM.png

Leisure Suit Series ——-> Works for Sale

These fantastic works were created from tearing apart an old polyester quilt and creating thread works based on the color relationships, patterns, and quilt block arrangement. More info here.


Quilt Block Drawings

These fantastic little drawings were a blast to make. I am selling 10 of them this season. At $50 unframed and $75 framed, these gems are a steal.

They were created in response to research into the Spencer Museum of Art’s textile collection. When going through the collection I was particularly intrigued by the way they were stored. In clam shell boxes you could see through the blocks as the stack pieces created unique compositions.

spencer 1.jpg

This 500+ collection of Quilt Blocks gifted to the Spencer Museum by Carrie Hall in the 1930’s, is a comprehensive taxonomy of quilt block designs.

Shop Small. Support Local. Buy Art.

polYESter - Reception

polYESter Reception: Thursday, October 18 6-8pm. Pioneer Room, ISU Memorial Union

Reception in conjunction with the Studies in Creativity exhibit next door.

Reception in conjunction with the Studies in Creativity exhibit next door.

I am so honored to have my work up in the ISU Memorial Union Galleries. The reception will be this Thursday, October 18th form 6-8pm in conjunction with the Studies in Creativity Exhibition.

Back in the day, as a studio art student at Iowa State, my work was included in the annual Studies in Creativity exhibition. It was an honor and one of the first lines on my CV.

It is such a pleasure to see the work of the students here at Iowa State. I have had several talented young artists pass through my professional studio in the past 5 or so years. It has been a gratifying and fulfilling experience to encourage and equip young artists as they start to make their mark on the world. It is my hope that through my mentorship, these talented humans gain knowledge and are encouraged to make meaningful work in a society which fails to support their creativity.

sob, sob - end of sappy exposition

in process shot

in process shot

Catherine Reinhart_polYESter
Catherine Reinhart_polYESter
Catherine Reinhart_polYESter
Catherine Reinhart_polYESter