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Julie Warren Conn

Julie Warren Conn

Architectural Artist
  • Stone


    From the time I was a small girl, I imagined forms in tree branches, clouds and other natural objects around me. Although I had the spirit of an artist from that early age, opportunities to study art were limited during my childhood. My formal art training began in college, where I was awarded the first Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in sculpture from the University of Tennessee. During the first ten years of my career I welded sculptures, building solid forms from flat sheets of steel. As a diversion from welding I began finishing a Tennessee marble sculpture, which I had roughed out using only a hammer and chisel while in college. When I began to polish the stone, the beautiful qualities of coloration, veining and composition were revealed. I never had a desire to return to welding.

    Today, I continue the extremely physical, direct-carving process of working in stone. I use pneumatic and electric tools, removing the stone and creating various shapes — sometimes shaping organic form for form’s sake and at other times producing abstract, figurative pieces. After roughing out the stone, I spend hours grinding, sanding and polishing the flowing open surfaces. Many hours are spent with hand sanding as I push for a highly refined, smooth finish. My inspiration comes from personal relationships, the wonders of nature and marvelous sculptures from around the world. I admire the entire spectrum from the old masters to contemporary artists, as well as many fine ethnic expressions.

    The sculptures I create range in size from tabletop pieces, usually placed in private homes, to monumental works for corporate offices and public facilities. Several of my stone works have been cast in bronze. I use a variety of patinas to give character and color to the bronzes. With their lustrous patinas, the bronzes are often mistaken for stone.

    Picasso declared, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” In that spirit, I wish to create sculptural objects of beauty that bring joy and tranquility to viewers.

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