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Julie Heffernan

Professor, Art and Design

BFA, University of California at Santa Cruz
MFA, Yale School of Art and Architecture
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Julie Heffernan is a Full-time Professor of Fine Arts in the Department of Art and Design at MSU, where she teaches all levels of painting and drawing. Heffernan is represented by Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco. She has had solo exhibitions throughout the United States, Japan and Europe, including at PPOW in 2018 entitled "Hunter Gatherer," and a traveling museum show entitled "When the Water Rises" originating at the LSU Museum of Art in 2016 in Baton Rouge and traveling to museums in red states throughout the country through 2019. She has participated in numerous group shows--at the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Bremen; the Me Museum, Olbricht Collection in Berlin and the Palazzo Reale in Milan, among others.

Heffernan has received numerous awards, including the NEA, NYFA and Fulbright, as well as a PS1 Artist-in-Residence, a Fellowship of the BAU Institute at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France; a Milton And Sally Avery Fellowship from MacDowell. She was invited to be the Commencement Speaker for the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the featured artist at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Her work has been reviewed by The New York Times, Art in America, ArtForum and The New Yorker, among others; and is in numerous museums including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Me Museum in Berlin and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA.
Her website is


I paint large-scale narrative paintings that deal with issues like environmental degradation, climate change and evolving notions of the self. Forty years ago, I started using a process in my work called image streaming that gave me a way to use some of that vast wealth of mental imagery within a mind to tell non-linear visual stories.
Image streaming in combination with research opened up for me a way of painting that allows me to evolve a complex story as I paint. Using the materiality of paint itself, those stories can be embodied in form and tell us a deeper story, that engages complex issues using visual means.


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