Julie Cunningham is an artist and ceramics teacher living in Portland. She has a BFA in ceramics from Maine College of Art and a BS from the University of New Hampshire. She is an adjunct faculty at Maine College of Art, on the teaching staff at Portland Pottery, and has taught previously at the University of New England and Southern Maine Community College. Her teaching experience also includes children and adults through community and adult education programs. Julie came to ceramics later in life. Originally a graphic designer, she took fine art classes every semester during her first undergraduate degree, continued with more classes while working, and eventually returned to school for an art degree. Julie immediately began teaching evening classes while raising her children. She enjoys the connections she makes while in class – watching a student improve, finding their voice, and making friends all feed her love of teaching. While Julie is an instructor, she continues her own education by participating in workshops, believing that there are always new things to learn. Her two kids often say that she will always be teaching and never retire.
“Clay is my medium of choice that best expresses elements of nature and my ideas about the environment. Through it, I am able to create three dimensional pieces which have a dialogue with organic forms. By using earthenware clay, terra sigillata, and layered slips and glazes, I seek to recreate the depth of color and texture in the environment. The organic elements in my work are not only connected to each other but are also connected to my daily life – time spent outdoors observing the changing hues, textures, and arrangements of nature. I also consider how shapes in nature are similar to the contours of our body, and have tried to make references to these shapes by using their gestures and visual characteristics within my work. Recently, I have been including text and sayings. It is important to me that while viewers are engaged with my pieces, they discover elements of the natural world around them.”
Julie sells her work at Markings Gallery in Bath, Maine Craft Portland, and at Portland Pottery.
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