Julie Heffernan

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Julie Heffernan (born 1956 in Peoria, Illinois) is an American painter whose work has been described by the writer Rebecca Solnit as "a new kind of history painting." [1] Her imaginative landscapes feature such elements as exploding cities, castoff gods and garbage, and falling torrents of animals, meteors and gemstones. These elements reflect her view of the world after "calamities" such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill threaten to make it unlivable.[2]

David Cohen, art critic of The New York Sun, says of Heffernan's art at a 2007 exhibition: "These paintings are a hybrid of genres and styles, mixing allegory, portraiture, history painting, and still life, while in title they are all presented as self portraits."[3]

Heffernan was raised in Northern California as a Catholic, which influenced the theme of figurative imagery in her works.[4] She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received a B.F.A., at the University of California, Santa Cruz and, in 1985, an M.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking at the Yale School of Art.[5] Heffernan is a Professor of Fine Arts at Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.[5] She is the recipient of many grants and fellowships including a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, a Fulbright-Hayes Grant to West Berlin and several awards from the National Academy Museum.[6]

She is married to Jonathan Kalb, theater critic and professor in the Theater Department at Hunter College. Heffernan is the mother of two sons: Oliver, the eldest, and Sam.[7]

In October 2013 she exhibited 11 paintings in her exhibition Sky is Falling, at the PPOW gallery, New York City.[8]

Heffernan, along with fellow Brooklyn-based artist Virginia Wagner, run "Painters on Paintings", a blog which allows artists to share their favorite pieces of art.[9]


  1. ^ "Dandelion Clocks and Time Bombs," catalogue essay for the exhibition Sky is Falling, 2013
  2. ^ Julie Heffernan [1], Statement. Accessed April 19, 2016.
  3. ^ David Cohen (September 27, 2007) "Beauty in Flesh & Fur", The New York Sun. Accessed January 14, 2014.
  4. ^ Samet, Jennifer. "Beer with a Painter: Julie Heffernan". Hyperallergic.com. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  5. ^ a b Artist Profile: Julie Heffernan, Lux Art Institute. Accessed January 14, 2014.
  6. ^ Julie Heffernan [2], us. Accessed April 19, 2016.
  7. ^ "On the Job with Julie Heffernan". Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved July 8, 2008. 
  8. ^ Seed, John. "Julie Heffernan: 'Sky is Falling'". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  9. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2016-04-19. 

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