Remaining Reminders, Wood, metal, glass, paper, fabric, 40" x 16" x 6", 2017
Julia Franklin received her BFA in sculpture and printmaking from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She earned her MFA in sculpture and ceramics from Texas Christian University and worked in community outreach at the Dallas Museum of Art. In 2001, Julia moved from the DFW metroplex to rural southern Iowa to begin teaching art at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. She is now a Professor of Art and won the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011.
Julia has exhibited work in over 70 shows in the region and nationally. Her early work focused on worn shoes and identity which led to interests of found objects in art. Walks with her young daughter and a month-long residency at the Vermont Studio Center helped connect hikes in nature with the discovery of discarded objects. Questions of what we leave behind have guided Julia's art making. Recently, the use of found objects to construct narratives became personal when she was given a box of her father's things 26 years after his suicide. Her work preserves the ephemera of everyday life to create a larger picture of our existence and to explain who we are, where we have been, what we have done, and what we value.
"Picking Up the Pieces" Exhibition Statement
Imagine you are given a cardboard box of your father's belongings – things you haven't seen for more than 26 years since his tragic death. What will you find inside?
What would you do if those precious things revealed someone so different than the person you remembered?
How do you trace those clues and objects to find the truth and reconstruct a life after so many years have passed?
And more importantly, how do you take those pieces to finally make peace with the past?
This raw body of work picks at the emotional scars of suicide to reveal and examine father/daughter relationships, nostalgia, the faultiness of memory, and what people conceal in order to protect. By using these emotionally charged objects and historical documents, I interpret the past to create a portrait of my father. By sharing this secret that I've held too long, I hope to start conversations on mental health, memory, and identity and help others find a way through the grief into peace.
Julia Franklin's website