Julie Heffernan: Mending a Reflection

Julie Heffernan: Mending a Reflection

Julie Heffernan


September 3 – October 26, 2019

Mending a Reflection addresses the connection between culture, mass media and personal identity through the eyes of one central female figure. Through ten self- portraits, Julie Heffernan investigates what she calls the “shared collective unconscious,” exploring the historical narratives and subliminal imagery that work to shape who we are and how we perceive the world around us.

Heffernan’s paintings help us understand how media can influence our behavior and manipulate our perspective. In her large-scale vibrant works, she pays homage to many powerful women by including them in her portraits. Taking inspiration from women activists like Anita Hill and Tarana Burke, Heffernan confronts this bias by presenting what she calls a “different sort of self-portrait,” one full of female spirit, “giving voices to women who have been silenced for too many years by the dominant culture.”

Rowan University Art Gallery has a history of programming that recognizes the achievements of women in the visual arts. Important past group exhibitions include The Sister Chapel: An Essential Feminist Collaboration (2016) and Groundbreaking: The Women of the Sylvia Sleigh Collection (2011). The gallery also hosted Better Than Ever: Women Figurative Artists of the ’70s Co-ops (2009), a traveling exhibition that was curated by Sharyn Finnegan, Between the Threads: A Feminist Guide to the Domestic (2016), and Enamored Armor (2018). Solo exhibitions have included Beverly Semmes (2011), Joyce Kozloff (2014), Jeanie Jaffe (2015), Diane Burko (2018), and Ebony G. Patterson (2019).

Julie Heffernan Featured on State of the Arts


View the Exhibition Catalogue

Julie Heffernan Catalog - cover image

 About the Artist

Julie Heffernan

 Julie Heffernan has been exhibiting her paintings nationally and internationally since 1988 and represented by Catharine Clark Gallery (San Francisco). She has had numerous solo exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe, including at PPOW in NYC entitled Hunter Gatherer (2019); the Crocker Art Museum, Palmer Art Museum and Michael Haas Gallery in Berlin; and a museum show entitled When The Water Rises originating at the LSU Museum of Art in Baton Rouge and traveling to museums in California, Pennsylvania, Florida and Texas through 2019. She has participated in numerous group shows at major galleries and museums including the Museum für Moderne Kunst, in Bremen, Germany; Me Museum, Olbricht Collection in Berlin; the Palazzo Reale in Milan, Italy; and in Environmental Impact exhibition traveling to 12 museums throughout the United States. 

Heffernan’s has published reviews and articles in a number of books and magazines, including The Figure - Drawing, Painting, And Sculpture - Contemporary Perspectives (Rizzoli), Art Pulse; and publishes essays by painters all over the country in her blog Painters on Paintings. Since 2011 her work was featured on the covers of numerous poetry books or journals including Tin House and Columbia Poetry Review. 

Heffernan is a board member of the National Academy Museum in New York. She is a 2017 Fellow of the BAU Institute at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France; was awarded the Meridian Scholar (Studio-F) Artist-In-Residence Fellowship from the University of Tampa in Florida and the featured artist for the 2017 MacDowell Colony.  Heffernan was awarded a Milton And Sally Avery Fellowship at MacDowell in 2013 and invited to be the Lee Ellen Fleming Artist-In-Residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 2012, the Commencement Speaker for the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2010 and was the featured artist at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) in 2009. She is the recipient of such prestigious grants as the NEA, NYFA, and Fulbright, as well as a PS1 Artist-in-Residence, and her work has been reviewed by all the major newspapers and magazines including The New York Times and The New Yorker. Her work is in numerous museums throughout the country including the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York and the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond, VA.  She is a Professor of Fine Arts at Montclair State University in New Jersey.