Arrowmont is a special community full of creative people – a family who know that coming together and making art is important. We talk a lot about the Arrowmont Experience – connecting through craft and community. That connection exists beyond physical proximity. It is in shared memories and new ideas. It lives in the friendships we make with each other. It grows when we learn and support one another.
Whether on campus or off, we are connected as members of the Arrowmont family. Over the next few weeks, we are going to share stories from our community of instructors, residents, and students in a new series, Arrowmont Connections.
Julia Gartrell is a 2015-2016 Arrowmont Artist-in-Residence and instructor. She is an artist and educator based in Durham, North Carolina. She received her MFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work explores the notion of “making do” and material plasticity, along with radical approaches to repair. She has participated in residencies at the Fine Arts Work Center, Duke University Power Plant Gallery, Arrowmont, Oxbow, and others. Gartell has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has taught at Arrowmont, Rhode Island School of Design and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Julia was scheduled to teach RADICAL REPAIR WORKSHOP at Arrowmont this summer, exploring the art of creative repair to textiles and more. This workshop is inspired by her current traveling art project called Radical Repair Workshop.
The Radical Repair Workshop explores contemporary relationships to repair through a sculptural lens. Housed in a vintage camper named Sonny, the Radical Repair Workshop contains a studio, gallery, and workshop space.
The Radical Repair Workshop is a pop-up art experience housed inside a vintage 1966 Frolic camper. The project encourages participants and viewers to consider their relationship to mending, sentimental objects, single-use items, and radical (potentially non-functional) modes of repair.
Inside the Radical Repair Workshop camper, there is a functional art studio, a gallery of repaired items, and space for hands-on workshops and information sessions. Items that have been donated by the public or scavenged by Julia are taken in, assessed, and “repaired” in a manner aligning to their history.
Julia writes, “The ‘repairs’ these items undergo may be technically non-functional or ‘productive’ but they relate to a sculptural investigation of the object’s story, level of decay, and psychic/emotional energy. The approach to mending will be non-traditional—your item may not actually be ‘fixed,’ but it will be transformed into a permanent art object, thus realigning our relationship to its ‘value.’ The repaired items join the archive of the Radical Repair Workshop, along with their story, to be shared with future audiences along the journey of the project.”
“This project that challenges participants to consider what is reusable, what is sentimental, what ‘broken’ really means, and to connect with an object or material on physical and granular levels.” – Julia Gartrell
With the onslaught of Covid-19, Julia has moved her workshops from in-person to online with weekly Instagram classes, #mendingmondays.
To participate, join Julia on her instagram (@radical_repair_workshop) at noon EST on Mondays to follow along as Julia offers tips and tricks for creative mending.
Julia Gartrell’s website: juliagartrell.com
Radical Repair Workshop website: www.radicalrepairworkshop.com