Julia Whitney Barnes

Painted Cyanotypes: In this series, I approach each growing thing with equal importance regardless of whether it is a weed, rare species, wildflower, or cultivated flower. Most works have several species fused into one composition, often to the point where the exact plants depicted are open to interpretation. Each composition starts as a blue and white print onto watercolor paper and then I work in watercolor, gouache, and ink. Even the works that appear all blue and white are usually augmented with brushed on media. I am most interested in creating objects that feel both beautiful and mysterious. I want them to be familiar yet slightly outside of time. In the summer of 2015, I moved from Brooklyn to a hundred-year-old house in Hudson Valley, along with my husband, Sean Hemmerle. Four weeks later, I gave birth to our daughter, Magnolia. Instead of a baptism for the baby, we organized a tree planting ceremony and positioned a magnolia tree in our front yard, including the placenta as fertilizer. This small act was the beginning of my intimate connection to plants growing in our yard. After the birth of our son August in 2018, we had a similar ceremony with a dogwood tree in our back yard. Throughout the eighteen years I lived in New York City, one of the things I felt most lacking was a direct relationship with nature. After moving to Poughkeepsie, the influence of having green space of my own for the first time in my adult life started to creep into my studio process. The simple action of frequently going outside, then inside, then outside again made me think about interior/exterior in formal and metaphorical ways. It is deeply satisfying to take something that is ephemeral and represent it in a way that can live on forever.
Photo of Julia Whitney Barnes

Picturesque Botany

Nocturnal Nature

Gold Flora

"Cyanotype is a camera-less printing process invented in 1842 by scientist and astronomer, Sir John Hirschel, which produces a cyan-blue print when a chemistry-coated surface is exposed to sunlight. The first artist (who was also a botanist) to use this process was Anna Atkins. I manipulate physical impressions of plants grown locally in my Hudson Valley garden and other nearby areas, along with intricately cutout photographic negatives. Each selected flower/plant is preserved through a pressing process in which I dissect and shape each form—akin to a specimen from a natural history museum—and then lay everything out in massive flat files in my attic studio. Given that sunlight starts the exposure process with cyanotype chemistry, I carefully arrange elaborate compositions at night and utilize long exposures under natural or UV light to create the final prints. Each cyanotype is unique and cannot be replicated in the way I work."

Blue & White Flora

Installation Views



Julia Whitney Barnes works in a variety of media from cyanotypes, watercolor, oil paintings, ceramic sculptures, murals, drawings, and site-specific installations. She has exhibited widely in the United States and has been awarded fellowships from the New York State Council on the Arts administered through Arts Mid-Hudson, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), Abbey Memorial Fund for Mural Painting/National Academy of Fine Arts, and the Gowanus Public Art Initiative, among others. Born in Newbury, VT, Whitney Barnes spent two decades in Brooklyn, before moving to the Hudson Valley. She received her BFA from Parsons School of Design and her MFA from Hunter College. Whitney Barnes has created site-specific installations at the Dorsky Museum, New Paltz, NY; Arts Brookfield, Brooklyn, NY; the Wilderstein Sculpture Biennial, Rhinebeck, NY; The Trolley Barn/Fall Kill Creative Works, Poughkeepsie, NY; GlenLily Grounds, Newburgh, NY; ArtsWestchester, White Plains, NY; Gowanus Public Arts Initiative, Brooklyn, NY; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council/Sirovitch Senior Center and the New York City Department of Transportation, both in New York, NY; and Figment Sculpture Garden, Governors Island, NY; among other locations.

2006 MFA Fine Arts, Painting & Combined Media, Hunter College, CUNY, New York, NY
2001 BFA Fine Arts, Painting, Parsons The New School for Design, New York, NY
2018 Individual Artist Commission, NY State Decentralization Grant, Arts Mid-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY
2015 Gowanus Public Arts Initiative Grant (ArtsGowanus, The Old Stone House & District 39), Brooklyn, NY
2013 Residency with Site-Specific Installation & Fellowship, Fjellerup I Bund I Grund, Fjellerup, Denmark
2012 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide) Residency &
Fellowship, New York, NY
2010 National Academy of Fine Art, Edwin Austin Abbey Mural Residency & Fellowship,
New York, NY
2008 International Open Art Residency, Island of Dreams, Greece
2006 Greenwich House Pottery Residency, New York, NY
2006 Nancy Ashton Memorial Fellowship MFA Award, Hunter College, CUNY, New York, NY
2020 Illumination: An Interpretation of Charles Booth's Stained Glass Windows (interior installation),
Arts Brookfield, Brooklyn, NY
2019 Hudson River of Bricks (exterior installation), Wilderstein Sculpture Biennial, Rhinebeck, NY
2018 Hudson River of Bricks (interior installation), Poughkeepsie Trolley Barn, Poughkeepsie, NY
2017 Hudson River of Bricks (exterior installation), GlenLily Grounds, Newburgh, NY
2015 Industry Meets Ecology (exterior mural), Gowanus Public Arts Initiative Mural, Brooklyn, NY
Legal Aviary (exterior mural), Baw Ridge SAW/Sichenze & Sichenze storefront, Brooklyn, NY
2013 Flora I Fjellerup (wood installation & exterior mural), Former Byuns Købmand Storefront,
Fjellerup, Denmark
Historias Coloridas de México (ceramic and glass mosaic), Brooklyn School of Inquiry, Brooklyn, NY
2012 Refracted Nature (ceramic and glass mosaic), Sirovich Senior Center/LMCC, New York, NY
2011 Roots/Routes (exterior mural), New York City Department of Transportation - Urban Art Program,
New York, NY
Road Less Traveled (exterior mural), St. Nicks Alliance – Arts@Renaissance, Brooklyn, NY
Floor-Sight (exterior digital billboard), The Billboard Art Project, Savannah, GA, Nashville, TN &
Duluth, MN
2010 Found on Governors Island (exterior ceramic installation), FIGMENT Sculpture Garden, Governors Island, NY
2009 Prospect Flora (mixed-media installation), Brooklyn Utopias?, Brooklyn Historical Society,
Brooklyn, NY
Epiphyte (mixed-media installation), Windows Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY
Treehouse: Interior/Exterior (exterior printed billboard), ArtBridge, New York, NY
Gilded Phytophilic Bats (exterior ceramic installation), Annmarie Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Affiliate,
Solomons, MD
2008 Relative Environment (exterior ceramic installation), Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, Brooklyn, NY
Gowanus Canal Species (exterior mural), Toll Brothers & Art Assets, Brooklyn, NY

2021 Julia Whitney Barnes – Nocturnal Nature, Brookfield Place Winter Garden, New York, NY
2020 New Folk, Dorsky Museum, New Paltz, NY
2019 Julia Whitney Barnes: Botany of Poughkeepsie, Cunneen Hackett Arts Center, Poughkeepsie, NY
Celebrating Color, Womens Work Gallery, Poughkeepsie, NY
Summer Sampler, Front Room Gallery, New York, NY
Tickled Pink, Queen City 15, Poughkeepsie, NY
2018 Brick to Brick, ArtsWestchester, White Plains, NY
Frabjous, Openings Collective: Church of the St. Paul The Apostle, New York, NY
The Creek Flows Into the River: New Work from the Hudson River Valley, Walnut Hill Gallery, Hudson, NY
Patterns in Nature, Front Room Gallery, New York, NY
2017 18th, 19th, 21st: Confabulations of Millennia, Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, ME
Super Natural, Matteawan Gallery, Beacon, NY
Julia Whitney Barnes & Jolynn Krystosek, Art Centro, Poughkeepsie, NY
Taconic North, LABspace, Hillsdale, NY
Nasty Women HV, Instar Lodge, Germantown, NY
coda, Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2016 Monsters in America, International Cryptozoology Museum, Portland, ME
Front Room Gallery, The Ballot Show, Brooklyn, NY
Monsters in America, One Mile Gallery, Kingston, NY
Beauty, Openings Collective: Church of the St. Paul The Apostle, New York, NY
Bringing Brooklyn to Norfolk, Gallery 21, Norfolk, VA
Small Works, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Front Room Gallery, Summer Sampler, Brooklyn, NY
2015 Eumetadotos, Novella Gallery, New York, NY
The Unexpected Path, Arts Mid-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY
The Old Gem, Arts@Renaissance, Brooklyn, NY
2014 Front Room at 15, Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Summer Love, Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Liberalis, Novella Gallery, New York, NY
The Last Brucennial, Vito Schnabel & The Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York, NY
2013 Collo, Warehouse Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Group Therapy: Politics & Aesthetics, 111 Front Street Galleries/Two Trees, Brooklyn, NY
Summer Sampler, Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
In Her Nature, Fountain Art Fair, 69th Regiment Armory, New York, NY
Collectively Assembled, Arts@Renaissance, Brooklyn, NY
2012 These Trees: Melissa Cowper-Smith + Julia Whitney Barnes, Hendrix College, Conway, AR
The Ballot Show (Quadrennial), Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn NY
Art Faculty Exhibition, Ruth S. Harley University Center Gallery/Adelphi University, Garden City, NY
Frenzy Into Folly, Openings Collective: Church of the St. Paul The Apostle, New York, NY
These Trees: Julia Whitney Barnes + Melissa Cowper Smith, Sweet Lorraine Gallery,
Brooklyn, NY
Collectivity: Art-Making in a Collective, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Jamaica, NY
Brucennial 2012, Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York, NY
Postcards from Long Island, Barister’s Gallery, New Orleans, LA
In-Habitat, Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2011 NurtureArt Benefit, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY
Drawing Connections, Siena Art Institute, Siena, Italy
tART: Year 8, Arts@Renaissance, Brooklyn, NY
Summer Sampler, Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Alarums and Excursions: presented by Fuse Works, Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Naming the Animals, Curious Matter, Jersey City, NJ
Single Fare 2: Please Swipe Again, Sloan Fine Art, New York, NY
Sweet + Sour, OZANEAUX Art Space, New York, NY
2010 Edwin Austin Abbey Fellowship Exhibition, National Academy of Fine Art Museum, New York, NY
Cool and Collected, Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, NY
Julia Whitney Barnes: Paintings & Ceramics, Armstrong Hipkins Center for The Arts, Blairstown, NJ
tart at AIR; What’s in a Collective, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Green Too, Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Smithsonian Affiliate, Solomons, MD
2009 Within the Menagerie: Melissa Pokorny & Julia Whitney Barnes, Front Room Gallery, Brooklyn NY
SummerSpace, OZANEAUX Art Space, New York, NY
Brooklyn Utopias?, Old Stone House Museum, Brooklyn, NY
NurtureArt Benefit, Claire Oliver Gallery, New York, NY
Green Party, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY
tart at AIR, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Wild Things, Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Smithsonian Affiliate, Solomons, MD
I Heart Art, Work Gallery/The Wassaic Project, Brooklyn, NY
2008 tART Summer Salon, Rabbitholestudio Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Small Favors, Harrison & Jill Bonovitz Galleries, The Clay Center, Philadelphia, PA
2007 Julie Durkin, Lauren Olitski, Julia Whitney Barnes, Mulry Fine Art, West Palm Beach, FL
Images 2007, Robeson Gallery, PA Festival of the Arts, University Park, PA
2006 MFA Show: Julia Whitney Barnes Orchid-Bats, Hunter College Times Square Gallery, New York, NY
2005 MA’s Select MFA’s, Hunter College Times Square Gallery, New York, NY
The Real Party, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT
2004 Benefit, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY
2003 Julia Whitney Barnes: Cycles, 65 Hope Street Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

The Times Record Dec. 1, 2019, “Claudia’s Corner: Local artist inspired by Hudson Valley”
The Poughkeepsie Journal July 25, 2019, “Experience the discovery of Wilderstein Sculpture Biennial Exhibition”
The Poughkeepsie Journal Feb. 6, 2019, "’Tickled Pink' artists display their interpretations of color in group exhibit”
Chronogram, January 23, 2019, “Poughkeepsie's Trolley Barn Chugs Along”
Almanac Weekly September 13, 2018, “Hudson River of Bricks Installation in Poughkeepsie”
The Poughkeepsie Journal September 7, 2018, “’Hudson River of Bricks’ Celebrates Defunct Art”
Beekman 1802 Almanac, Winter 2017/2018, “Dreamcatchers: The Very Foundation of a Fascinating Project”
The Poughkeepsie Journal November 17, 2017, “Artists Tap into Natural Habitat for Exhibition”
Chronogram, July 2017, “On the Cover: Julia Whitney Barnes” [cover story]
The Poughkeepsie Journal July 31, 2017, “Artists use nature to explore their visions in 'Super Natural'”
The New York Times August 2, 2016, “In Gowanus, A People’s Housing Plan to Challenge the Mayor’s”
News 12 Brooklyn TV October 12, 2015, “Best of Brooklyn: Gowanus Mural”
Brooklyn Magazine August 31, 2015, “Juxtaposition on the Gowanus Canal: New Mural Celebrates the Grittiness
and Beauty”
DNA New York August 21, 2015, “Mural Inspired by Floating Gardens Unveiled on Toxic Gowanus Canal”
The Poughkeepsie Journal August 13, 2015, “Unexpected Path exhibit highlights travel, unforeseen”
The L Magazine May 19, 2015, “L Rex: Art/Sixth Annual Bay Ridge S.A.W.”
Hey Ridge May 19, 2015, “On The Right Side Of The Line: SAW Bringing Public Art To Bay Ridge”
Catalog for Open Engagement conference, published May 2015
Greenpointers July 28, 2014, “I Fell in Love With ‘Summer Love’ at The Front Room Gallery”
The Village Voice July 2, 2014, “Events: Summer Love”
Art F City June 30, 2014, “This Week’s Must See Events”
Bright Young Things June 30, 2014, “Your Guide To NYC Art Openings (This Week)”
Lokalavisen, August 7, 2013, “Fjellerup ferniserer de sidste to gange” [cover story]
Lokalavisen, July 24, 2013, “Fjellerup får ruinhave på stranden”
Lokalavisen, July 23, 2013, “Bertel Haarder åbner udstilling I Fjellerup”
Lokalavisen, July 16, 2013, “Verden kommer til Fjellerup”
New York Observer/GalleristNY, October 1, 2012, “In Brooklyn, It’s Go Time”
Exit Strata, September 27, 2012, “Frenzy Into Folly Virtual Gallery”
Hyperallergic, September 11, 2012, “GO Red Hook; Three Themes Observed”
East Villager, August 16, 2012, “Sirovich’s Center offers window(s) into mosaic” [cover story]
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Feb. 24, 2012, “Artist Julia Whitney Barnes: Paintings to Ceramics to Murals” [cover story]
Brooklyn Eagle, February 23, 2012, “Bats, Orchids and Tree Houses, A Brooklyn Artist Shares Her Inspirations”
The L Magazine, February 1, 2012, “Artists Imagine Inhabitable Habitats”
Flavorpill, January 25, 2012, “Critics Pick: In-Habitat”
Gowanus Your Face Off, January 10, 1012, “Climate Reality Project’s Gowanus Expedition”
The Greenpoint Gazette, September 16, 2011, “The Renaissance Women of tART” [cover story]
Catalog for Open Engagement conference, published May 2011
W-MBC TV, Airdate: April 25, 2011, “Interview for Naming The Animals exhibition at Curious Matter”
Catalog for Naming The Animals exhibition, published April 2011
BCAT TV, September & October airdates 2010, “Neighborhood Beat: Red Hook – Julia Whitney Barnes”
Artnet, August 11, 2010, “Mural Fellowships Announced for 2010”
Larchmont-Mamaroneck Patch, July 29, 2010, “Hot New Brooklyn Artists at Opening of ‘Cool & Collected’”
The Baltimore Sun, July 15, 2010, “Sculpture garden celebrates relationship between art, nature”
Greenpoint Gazette February, 15, 2015, “Local Arts Champion Set to Reassert Itself with Massive Exhibition”
The Warren Reporter, January 26, 2010, “Brooklyn artist Julia Whitney Barnes to exhibit at Blair Academy”
The New York Times: City Room, March 4, 2010, “Ode to the Gowanus Canal”
The Huffington Post, November 19, 2009, “Bats: The New Canary in the Coal Mine?
wagmag, June 1, 2009, “Review: Within the Menagerie”
The Greenpoint Gazette, May 28, 2009, “Wildly Amusing”
500 Ceramic Sculptures, May 2009 published by Lark Books
The New York Times, City Beat Blog, March 27, 2009, “Converting Chelsea Scaffolds Into Art”
AMNY, March 20, 2009, “Artistic Neighborhood Face-Lift”
Curbed, October 30, 2008 “Have Toll Brothers Turned to Art to Win Gowanus Hearts & Minds?”
Brownstoner, October 30, 2008 “Closing Bell: Wild Gowanus”
NBC New York October 30, 2008 “Toll Brothers Using Art to Win Gowanus Hearts & Minds?”
flash film, October 10, 2008 “Interview with Julia Whitney Barnes”
New York Art Crit, August 4, 2008 “Summer Sculpture 2008: Vegetable Mineral”
The New York Times (Travel Section) August 3, 2008 “In Brooklyn, Sharing a River but Not Much Else”
Kathimerini (Greece), K Magazine, August 3, 2008 “Art Eretria: Openart Residency”
Black Book Magazine, July 3, 2008 “Sweet tarts Go Down The Rabbit Hole”
The Palm Beach Post, November 30, 2007 “Stop. Look. Go! Art: Exhibitions of Note”
The New York Sun, April 19, 2003 “Calendar Pick with photo – Cycles: Julia Whitney Barnes”