October 16, 2019 Taos, New Mexico

The Harwood Museum of Art

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September 18, 2018


 The Harwood Museum of art is pleased to announce the September Studio 238 artist, Julie Lake. For this work, the only material used is very small diameter stainless steel wire, sometimes as fine as a strand of hair. It is joined by an arc welding process, but the artist uses the welder like a sewing machine, stitching and piecing together these threads of metal. So, it is within these parameters of limited material and limited process that Lake can “search for an authentic place.” It seems to rest between the industrial and the domestic. The nature of steel and welding typically yields formidable and often imposing works. But, as opposed to hefty steel sculptures or structures that assert themselves, she is drawn to experimental forms that invite curiosity for those willing to look more closely; gestures that often seem reluctant to be defined as a things unto themselves.

Lake states, “As a maker, I've found that a freedom is attained when extreme limitations and parameters are imposed. The paralyzing weight of possibility is thus eliminated. A relationship can be made with a material and an intelligence and sensitivity can be gained about its behavior. As the poet David Whyte writes, "Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity." A vastness is then revealed among slightest alterations.”

For Studio 238, Lake will present these forms like a display of found objects or as a collection of specimens in a lab. They act as a visual dictionary, a reference for her ongoing collection of possibilities. Individually, these objects are novelties, small items of curiosity. But, as a whole, grouped together, they become evidence of process, a sculptural installation of separate yet intimately related parts. Here, too, in these interstices, Lake is in search of the space between childlike wondering and the abstruse, which as she ponders, “may, actually, be one in the same.”

Julie Lake attended the Oregon College of Art and Craft and the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts. She has worked at a number of fabrication shops and studios in Eugene, Oregon, San Diego, CA and Taos, New Mexico. Lake’s work has been featured in a number of exhibitions in New York and New Mexico. She is currently represented at several galleries in Taos. You can find her on Instagram: @lake_object.