"Inspired", "John Welles Bartlett", "Julianna Swaney"

The "Inspired" Pieces are Revealed!

Our current show, "Inspired" features the work of artists John Welles Bartlett (printmaker) and Julianna Swaney (illustrator). Each artist was asked to create one piece for the show that was inspired by the other. Having never met, and living on opposite sides of the United States, it was a fun and unique challenge for each artist to study the body of work of the other and create something, in their own style, inspired by them. Both inspired pieces were wrapped in black paper and were finally unveiled at the opening reception on Saturday, September 4. These pieces were a secret...until now.

Below are John and Julianna's inspired pieces and a brief description, in their own words, on how they were truly inspired by each other:

John's inspired piece, "TV Maiden with Birdhouse"

“When I began looking at Julianna’s work, I felt drawn into a time and place where life is entwined with folklore and spirits, and the secrets of nature. These are themes close to my heart and it was not hard to be inspired by her work. My piece “TV Maiden with Birdhouse” is related to the young girls who appear in a many of Julianna’s works, gingerly interacting with nature and the spirit world.” - John Welles Bartlett

Julianna's inspired piece, "Reception"

“What I initially found interesting in John’s work was the recurring image of the TV set. Especially the pieces where it is strapped to the back of a girl and a donkey, I often draw people or animals with things strapped to their back so I felt like that was a good place for me to start looking for inspiration. I have no idea what his intention for that symbol is but I interpret the TV image as a distraction that is always intruding, always constant, sort of in the background, though...so that you almost don't even realize you are being distracted. That is a familiar feeling I think to anyone around today who has the diversion of phone/email/texting/information with them constantly, you often don't even realize you are not paying attention to what is happening around you because your mind is constantly half on a screen. I incorporated the image of the TV on the back of a wolf, followed by a girl absorbed with it as she walks though the forest to symbolize that sort of distraction.” - Julianna Swaney