Julie Wills

  • Associate Professor of Studio Art

Julie Wills

100 Year Flood, artwork by Prof. Julie Wills

100 Year Flood, exhibit view, VisArts, Rockville,MD 2020

Julie Wills is an interdisciplinary artist working in the expanded field of sculpture, including installation, collage, performance, video and site-specific practices.

She is a 2019 recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, and has been awarded recent artist residencies at the Marble House Project, Cill Rialaig (Ireland), Arteles (Finland), Jentel, PLAYA, The Hambidge Center, and Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, among others. Recent solo exhibits have been presented at Gettysburg College, VisArts in Rockville, MD, C for Courtside in Knoxville, TN, Arlington Arts Center,  IA&A at Hillyer in Washington, DC, and Whittier College in Los Angeles.

In addition to her individual studio practice, Wills is one of four artist members of The Bridge Club, an interdisciplinary performance art collaborative active since 2004. See more at www.thebridgeclub.net

Artist’s website: www.juliewills.com 

Research Spotlight

My work is inspired by the tools of desire: wishes, hopes, pleas for divine or cosmic intercession, and superstitious rites. These are the things we turn to when something is desperately wanted but cannot be achieved through hard work or other rational means. I frequently draw imagery from celestial sources: the distant reaches of an infinite cosmos strain to reach their other halves. Individual stars fall from the sky, disrupting the known order of the universe. Through this imagery I explore constancy and mutability, current conditions, and hope for an unrealized but longed-for future.

I choose materials for their metaphoric or associative meanings; sandpaper, for example, contains a tactile recognition of its erosive function while thermostat wire suggests the activation or transmission of heat. I plan my works— whether on paper or three-dimensional— as line, mass and color in space, and I am as interested in the gulfs and voids between materials as I am in the marks themselves. Much of my recent work incorporates a longstanding interest in text, signification, legibility and poetic language. 


MFA, University of Colorado, 2005
MA, Art Criticism, University of Montana, 2001
BFA, University of Montana, 1998

Course offerings

ART261 Introductory Drawing Studio
ART265 Introductory Printmaking Studio
ART281 Introductory Sculpture Studio
ART350 Drawing Intensive
ART365 Printmaking Intensive
ART370 Sculpture Intensive
ART392 Junior Seminar: Contemporary Practices
ART491 & 492 Studio Art Senior Seminar
Special Topics: Art + Language
Special Topics: Material and Meaning
Special Topics: Collage
Special Topics: Performance Art
FYS101 Experiments in Wonder