Julia Kemerer


To inquire about the possibility of commissioning a custom project or the availability of original artwork or prints, prices, or upcoming exhibitions, please contact me at

Art is alchemy. It is the transmuting of everyday materials into a magical new substance that only exists as a result of this particular recipe. Though most artists identify themselves by their medium, calling themselves "painter" or "sculptor," I don't feel that way. For me, the creation of art is more than the exploration of a medium or technique; it is the creation of an image or object, the realization of a dream, and the solving of a puzzle. The medium I choose is dependent upon the best solution for each puzzle. Some pieces scream for a third dimension, some need the softness of watercolors, some the grit of cement or the gleam of polished metal.

I have made artwork for as long as I can remember, but I came to painting later in life than most. My training in the fine arts was in the areas sculpture and design – disciplines that employed a third dimension. It is this background in sculpture that leads me to play with shapes of paintings in a way that other artists do not, usually shedding the default of the flat rectangle. Though I do use straight lines when I feel it is appropriate for the piece, I also exercise the freedom to create curves, textures and shapes. In my work, a frame is not just a means to cover an unattractive edge; it is an extension of the piece and a means of easing the boundary between fantasy and reality.

Each of my paintings is a glimpse into a twilight world – a place that exists only for those few hazy moments between waking and sleep. It is a place where fears and hopes have a face, and where desires are manifested into living, breathing beings. My creatures are the motivators that whisper in our ears and move us toward one particular action or another, or cause us not to act at all. Though this world may at first glance seem fantastical, the allegories represented there are very real. They are like dreams – at first, they may appear to be nonsense, but when examined, they reveal hidden truths that shrink from the light of day.

A few years ago I began a series of sculpture that was an exploration of the connection between the “synthetic” and the “natural.” For as long as humans have been creating objects, we have been trying to reproduce things found in nature and manipulate them to better suit our needs. This quest for a “better than natural” object has left us with ever growing millions of man-made items produced from natural raw materials. In this series, I have brought this cycle full circle and used these man-made items to re-create natural ones.

Armed with various pieces of hardware and kitchen implements (which I have used to represent the “male” and “female” of the synthetic world), I have made a series of animals using the technique of assemblage – the creation of sculpture from existing materials. In addition to the symbolic meaning, it is particularly exciting media for me because it is a chance to breathe new life into objects that for one reason or another were unable to fulfill their original purpose. So often we find ourselves accumulating and then disposing of objects that we didn’t really need in the first place. I love the idea of using these societal discards to create. It is so much better to make art than to let something languish in a drawer for decades or worse yet, forever in a landfill.


Smith Nature Symposium: May 18, 2013, Brushwood Gallery in Ryerson Woods, Deerfield, IL.

Hatch Art House: November 2010 - July 2012, Madison, Wisconsin.

Aviary: March 7 - April 29, 2010, Brushwood Gallery in Ryerson Woods, Deerfield, IL.

Materiality: March 5 - 27, 2010, ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL

Personality: March 1 - 31, 2010, Caladan Gallery, Cambridge, MA.

66th International Salon Show: September 13 - November 1, 2009, South Shore Arts, Munster, IN

August Showcase: August 1-31, 2009, House of Scratch,

Paint the Town Blue: May, 2009 Maya Essence, Chicago, IL

TOYth: March, 2009 Prak-sis, Chicago, IL


University of Illinois at Chicago: BA in Art History, 2003

School of the Art Institute of Chicago: Fine Art, 1992-1995


Chicago, IL



Painting, Art, Illustration, Sculpture, Fine Art, Assemblage, Wearable Art