Pleased to join the board of directors of the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center

POUGHKEEPSIE – The Mid-Hudson Heritage Center is pleased to announce the addition of 6 community members to its board of directors. Since its founding in 2011, the organization has continued to expand its arts and cultural offerings to the public. These new board members will help to develop additional creative opportunities for residents and visitors. The new members are:

Julia Whitney Barnes is an accomplished artist, muralist, and ceramicist who has been widely acclaimed for her public art installations. Julia is an adjunct professor in the arts at Marist College.

Nickesha Chung is the Environmental Outreach Organizer for Scenic Hudson, Inc. Nickesha was a Fulbright Scholar in the Kingdom of Swaziland, Africa, focusing on water supply issues and also served as a Human Relations Specialist with the US Army Reserves.

Tracy Dwyer is a designer and project manager at Ashworth Creative, where she specializes in website design and client relations. Tracy has also been a branding specialist with local and national firms.

Melanie Klein is an Associate Professor in the English and Humanities Department at Dutchess Community College. Melanie is also a published poet and a creator of kinetic art installations.

Franky Perez is a guidance counselor in the Poughkeepsie Middle School and was previously a counselor in the Poughkeepsie High School. Franky is fluently bilingual in English and Spanish.

Sarah Salem is the Development Associate with Dutchess Outreach, where she handles fundraising and program development. Sarah has been an intern with Hudson Valley Patterns for Progress and previously worked as a financial services representative for a local financial institution.

The Mid-Hudson Heritage Center is a non-profit organization, based in Poughkeepsie, dedicated to providing opportunities for community members to tell their stories through the arts and cultural projects and events. MHHC operates four venues in Poughkeepsie: the Heritage Center Gallery (317 Main Street), Art Centro (485 Main Street), PUF Studios (in the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory at 8 N Cherry Street), and the Glebe House history center (635 Main Street).

"Gilded Phytophilic Bats" on view in Confabulations of Millennia

"Gilded Phytophilic Bats" on view in Confabulations of Millennia

Confabulations of Millennia
Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art

On view from October 6 – December 8, 2017
Exhibition Reception: Friday, October 6, 2017, 5:00–8:00pm

Curated by artist Richard Saja, Confabulations of Millennia brings together the works of 17 contemporary artists who take direct inspiration from the 18th and 19th centuries. Using established styles, techniques and objects perfected in the the 18th and 19th centuries, the 19 artists assembled deploy history as a springboard in order to speak to the intricacies and inconsistencies of modern life be they social, political or aesthetic.

Artists include: Elise Ansel, Martha Arquero, John Brauer, Joey Chiarello, Emily Diaz Norton, Douglas Goldberg, Jeremy Hatch, Beth Katleman, Ryan Wilson Kelly, Melora Kuhn, Livia Marin, Oscar Sancho Nin, John O’Reilly, Erin M. Riley, Richard Saja, Anthony Sonnenberg, Ryan Swanson, Vadis Turner, Julia Whitney Barnes

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"Super Natural" exhibition featured in The Poughkeepsie Journal

"Super Natural" exhibition featured in The Poughkeepsie Journal

Artists use nature to explore their visions in 'Super Natural'

Linda Marston-Reid, For the Poughkeepsie JournalPublished 9:00 a.m. ET July 26, 2017

For hundreds of years, nature has inspired and moved artists to create.

Thomas Cole, regarded as the founding father of the Hudson River School of Art, once said this about nature: “How I have walked … day after day, and all alone, to see if there was not something among the old things which was new!”

For the six artists exhibiting in the "Super Natural" exhibit at Matteawan Gallery, they have used nature as a jumping-off point to explore their personal vision with drawings, paintings and prints, bringing a fresh viewpoint to paintings inspired by nature.

Julia Whitney Barnes creates work with startling colors and compositions created from composite sketches of nature studies. This method may be the traditional way the Hudson River painters created their work, but Whitney Barnes brings surprising combinations together to create compositions that may symbolize more than beauty in nature. For instance, the painting “May Day/Domestic Bliss” incorporates a stunning pink sky with clouds behind a lovely vase of cut flowers. The vase sits on a slice of log; perhaps a symbol of the trees in nature consumed for the wood utilized in the homes that are the framework of domesticity. A plaid tablecloth creates a horizon of the human-made meeting nature.

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Cover story/interview in Chronogram Magazine July 2017

Cover story/interview in Chronogram Magazine July 2017

On the Cover: Julia Whitney Barnes 

Some painters sole purpose is place—take the Hudson River School artists—while others use their art to dream up entirely new realities. Julia Whitney Barnes falls squarely in the second category. "There are several places and several experiences in each painting," Whitney Barnes says of her work.

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"Super Natural" on view at Matteawan Gallery from July 8–August 21

"Super Natural" on view at Matteawan Gallery from July 8–August 21

Matteawan Gallery is pleased to present Super Natural, a group exhibition of paintings,

drawings, and prints by Julia Whitney Barnes, Gabe Brown, Cecilia Whittaker-Doe, Matt

Frieburghaus, Charles Geiger, and Eleanor Sabin. The show opens Saturday, July 8 and runs

through August 21. There will be a reception for the artists on Saturday, July 8 from 6-9 pm.

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Collecting historic bricks for installation at GlenLily Grounds

I will be creating a scale version of the Hudson River from NYC to Albany created out of Hudson River bricks at GlenLily Grounds in September 2017. Any Hudson River brick donations (with the brickyard name stamped in the frog) are greatly appreciated. You can find out more about the history of the history of the brick industry here:

"Monsters in America" exhibition at the International Cryptozoology Museum

My painting of "Cassie: The Casco bay Sea Serpent" will be featured in the "Monsters in America" exhibition opening at the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. The show was originally at One Mile Gallery in Kingston NY and by popular demand is hitting the road. 

Whether the protagonist be the Pope Lick Monster, Wampaus Cat, Mothman or Chupacabra, tales of mysterious creatures and inexplicable phenomena have been passed down for generations. Curated by Richard Saja, “Monsters in America”, is a group show featuring various artists’ take on the cryptozoological map of the United States. Each artist focuses on a legendary monster, ancient spirit or alien being.

Richard Saja is an artist working in Catskill, New York. His work has been exhibited in Paris, Berlin, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Shelburne Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Museum of Embroidery in South Korea.

Monsters in America exhibition draws inspiration from the Hog Island Press Cryptozoological map of the US.

Two paintings featured in "Beauty" exhibition

Classic. Tragic. Aging. Deconstructed. Sublime. Forbidding. Excessive. Luminous. Dark. Transcendent. Voluptuous. Unexpected. Natural. Humble. Mysterious. Alternative. Oppressive. Anti-. Unlikely. Supernatural. Wondrous. Subtle. Complex. Simple. Cultural. Discreet. Rugged. Comical. Aesthetic. Colorful. Defiant. Intellectual. Mad. Coaxed. Unrelenting. Divine. Universal. Intense. Rich. Indulgent. Fake. Vapid. Hopeless. Challenging. Nonsensical. Foreboding. Glorious. Sad. Burnt. Ominous. Strange. Seductive. Camp.

The tenth annual group exhibition held inside the historic church of St Paul The Apostle will be showcasing the work of 28 artists whose mediums include painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and site specific installations.

Openings, a collective of visual artists whose vision statement is - Openings believes that the connections between creativity and transcendence foster critical conversations that have the potential to unite individuals across cultural divides - will sponsor the exhibition that runs from September 9th - October 20th, 2016.

The exhibition, curated by Michael Berube and Keena Gonzalez, features work by:

Alex Golden, Ashley Norwood Cooper, Caroline Wells Chandler, Georgia Elrod, J Grabowski, Jackie Slanley, Jason Saager, Joe Smith, Joel Carreiro, Jonathan David Smyth, Julia Whitney Barnes, Kajahl, Laura Sue King, Lourdes Bernard, Mark Attebery, Mark Brennan, Matthew Farrell, Matthew Garrison, Melissa Brown, Michelle Gevint, Mickalene Thomas, Nickolas Roudané, Sandra Mack-Valencia, Sandy Frank, Sarah Dineen, Tom Beale, Veronica O'Keefe Ruoff, Yu Zhang. 

Opening Reception: September 15th, 2016 7-9 p.m.
Artist Walk Thru: October 6th, 2016 7-9 p.m.
Exhibition Dates: September 9th - October 20th
Mon - Fri 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sat - Sun 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Location: Church of St. Paul the Apostle
Corner of West 60th & Columbus Ave. (212) 265-3495
New York, New York 10019

"Monsters In America" exhibition at One Mile Gallery in Kingston, NY

The "Monsters in America" exhibition curated by Richard Saja and based on the fantastic poster by Hog Island Press. I chose to make my painting of mythical the Casco Bay (Maine) Sea Serpent. Cassie, as she is frequently known, is seen peeking out of the water nearby Fort Gorges with an ominous yet friendly pink sky casting light from above. 

Monsters in America
One Mile Gallery
opening reception, Saturday, September 3, 6-9 p.m
One Mile Gallery, 475 Abeel Street, Kingston, NY

For more info on the show click here to read the article in Hudson Valley One. 

Expansive Gowanus mural unveiled

Artists Julia Whitney Barnes and Ruth Hofheimer unveil their community organized project on the canal-facing wall of Dykes Lumber, creating a new vista from Whole Foods.

BROOKLYN, August 17, 2015 – Arts Gowanus and the Old Stone House & Washington Park are pleased to announce the unveiling of a large scale mural project by artists Julia Whitney Barnes and Ruth Hofheimer on the canal facing wall of the Dykes Lumber building, the first piece of a larger Gowanus Public Art Project underwritten by New York Councilmember Brad Lander, with support from Arts Gowanus and the Old Stone House & Washington Park.

The unveiling will take place on Thursday, August 20, from 6 pm – 8 pm in the Whole Foods Park on Third Avenue and 3rd Street in Gowanus/Brooklyn.

The mural, which can be seen in full from Whole Foods, aims to connect its urban audience to nature in the Gowanus through the use of organic forms native to the area.   This artistic intention parallels the environment work of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, which provided invaluable volunteer support to complete the project.   Other inspiration is drawn from the mixed use industrial landscape of the Gowanus neighborhood, as well as the canals and floating gardens of Xochimilco in Mexico City, and Patricia Johanson’s functional eco-art.

Other projects in this participatory public art series that will engage numerous artists, youth, and community residents in the creation of 6 public artworks over the next 12 months include a photo mural on 8th Street by photographer Joe Cantor; an outdoor Art Lab by the Gowanus Canal Conservancy; a traffic safety education mural by Groundswell at 138 5th Avenue; a parklet at Ennis Playground by Michael Clyde Johnson; a mural by Miquel Del Real at the 19th Street overpass; and The Keepers, a performance art piece by Ed Woodham.

Underwritten by a total of $35,000 in funding from Councilmember Brad Lander, this series aims to create new platforms for public art and new opportunities for the artists, while at the same time showcasing what makes Gowanus “Gowanus”: the history, the Canal, the culture of creativity and the diversity of the community.  Known for its industrial past and polluted canal, Gowanus is now home to hundreds of artists and creative businesses.

About Julia Whitney Barnes
Julia Whitney Barnes is a multi-disciplinary artist who makes indoor and outdoor works related to the natural world. Ecological practices and the complex relationship humans have with the environment influence her work. Shown nationally and internationally, Julia has created site specific works in numerous venues. Julia is a Vermont native, long-time Brooklyn transplant, and since 2006 her studio has been in Gowanus.

About Ruth Hofheimer:
Ruth Hofheimer is an artist engaged in public art, community organizing and urban environmentalism. She believes in the power of beautiful and engaging public spaces to build stronger communities and has partnered with public organizations, non-profits, schools and community groups in New York City to create a number of large-scale murals and sculptures. Over the past three years Ruth has worked in various capacities with a number of Gowanus non-profits including Arts Gowanus, The Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Build It Green! NYC and Groundswell. She is also an architectural designer and is connected through this work to numerous businesses in the area including a longstanding relationship with Dyke’s Gowanus.

About Arts Gowanus
Arts Gowanus supports artists and artmaking, builds bridges between arts and the community, and works to ensure that the Gowanus neighborhood continues to nurture artists.

About Councilmember Brad Lander
Brad Lander has represented Brooklyn’s 39th District since 2009, and is a leader on issues of affordable housing, livable communities, the environment and public education.  He is committed to the Gowanus as a cultural community.

About Old Stone House & Washington Park
The Old Stone House is an active cultural site and presenting organization dedicated to creating a strong sense of community through history, environmental education and the arts.

Bay Ridge SAW mural completed

“Legal Aviary”  2015, acrylic paint on building façade

Bay Ridge SAW Installation
at Sichenze & Sichenze Law Office
7703 5th Avenue (at 77th St), Brooklyn NY
More information at:

Eagles dominate the raptor family in evolution and symbolism. Once endangered, they have recently made a historic resurgence, flourishing in the wild and recently returning to New York City after a lengthy hiatus. Their ubiquitous presence on our federal buildings and currency heralds the bravery and strength we identify as inherently American. Facing extinction in the middle of the twentieth century, Peregrine falcons are again flourishing in our metropolis. Native cliff dwellers, their graceful ferocity is distinctly suited to the vertical canyons of New York City. Their graceful resilience in our urbanity is a symbol of our own determination and courage. The Great Horned Owl’s large eyes and steady presence project wisdom and patience. The Owl’s conservation of motion and grandeur in attack combine for an enduring symbol of jurisprudence and scholarship. Placed above the doorways and windows of Sichenze & Sichenze, the center perch is occupied by a sculpted Eagle, originally purchased and installed by Andrew Sichenze. My intervention iinvolved painting a sky in each pediment, repainting the center eagle,  to the viewer’s right the painted Falcon, and to the left, the painted Owl, all executed in gold.