Julie C Baer

For over 40 years, Julie C Baer has painted trees, birds, and people. As a teenager with PTSD, chronic pain, and depression, artmaking was lifesaving for her, providing a calling, a practice, a generativity, an identity. Julie attended RISD and graduated from the New School for Social Research, after which she made art and exhibited full-time while raising her sons. In 2007, she returned to graduate school for a master’s in language and literacy (2009, Harvard Graduate School of Education) and doctorate in teaching and learning (2018, Northeastern University), and for the subsequent 15 years taught writing to students of all backgrounds, from incumbent hospital workers to GED students to BU first-years. The pandemic brought her back to art, transformed. She currently serves as a Visiting Artist at the Native Plant Trust in Massachusetts and has participated as a member of Atlantic Works Gallery artist collective in East Boston since 2022. She has published two picture books: Love Me Later, Bollix Books, 2005 and I Only Like What I Like, Bollix Books, 2003. She has created, exhibited, and sold her work widely since 1977.

Selected exhibitions: Art House Somerville, MA, solo exhibition; “Making Connections,” Atlantic Works Gallery, East Boston, MA; “The January Show”, Atlantic Works Gallery, East Boston, MA; “Unconnected Yet,” Bengal Bridge Boston; Fay Chandler Emerging Art Exhibition, City of Boston; International Exhibition on Animals in Art, Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine Library, Baton Rouge, LA; Roots: New Growth, Caroline S. Mark Gallery, Wausau, WI; 5th Animal, Art Show International Gallery Online, Talent Award; All Botanical 2022, Contemporary Art Gallery Online, First Place award; Women in Art, Las Lagunas Art Gallery, CA; On the Wing, Kavanagh Gallery, St. Charles, IL; Confluence, solo exhibition, Armory Center for the Arts Cafe, Somerville MA; San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center; Artistonish Magazine ExhibiZone; Souls, Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center; Nature, Cambridge Center for Adult Education; Cambridge Health Alliance; Yeshiva University Museum, NY; Hebrew College; O’Neill Public Library, Cambridge MA; Moses Brown School, Providence, RI; Doylestown Library; Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center of Greater Boston; Bromfield Gallery; Honan-Allston Boston Public Library; and rotating loans of artwork to corporate clients of the DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA.

Publications: Love Me Later, Bollix Books, 2005 and I Only Like What I Like, Bollix Books, 2003.

View her work at https://www.juliebaer.com/ or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/jcbaer_natureart/

Artist statement

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”  Simone Weil, French philosopher and activist

“The commonest things by which we are surrounded are deserving of minute and careful attention.”  James Rennie, Scottish naturalist

“The art of seeing, and the connection to place, grows exponentially when you learn to stop and observe.”  Michael Wojtech, from Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast

Julie C. Baer is a Boston-based painter whose work reflects her close observation of the evolving natural world around her. She pays close attention to the seasonal unfolding of life cycles: the budding, blooming, fruiting, seeding, dying, and dormancy. Her paintings aim to capture the shifting light, variegated colors, constant movement, and changing forms. Working abstractly, yet botanically accurately, Baer aims to surprise viewers with unusual views, to entice them to look deeply, just as she has done. Some works closely approach the small life growing on old trees, while others gaze high up at tree canopies interwoven with sky – both views resulting in compositions of allover patterns, often without a traditional focal point. Many pieces, due to heavily collaged elements, are highly topographic, as though life forms are growing outwards. The artist is exquisitely aware that, though nature is our collective home, humans have caused irreparable habitat, resource, and species loss. Her work, thus, takes both spiritual and activist stances, responding to ecologists’ call for native ecosystem rediscovery and restoration. Baer explains, “Art and nature can inspire insight and set healing in motion, as they have done for me. Looking closely at art and nature elicits sensory and nervous system responses that can let in light and freshness, allowing for a different kind of meaning.” Baer’s work offers viewers ongoing opportunities for discovery and invites them to go outdoors and look around, to care for themselves and their own habitats.