Julianna Foster’s work begins with an existing narrative—a story or text that refuses to be forgotten. The Swell series originated from accounts of a nor’easter that hit a small town on the Atlantic coast, and its mysterious aftermath. The morning after the storm, residents of the town reported strange sightings out at sea, like clouds of smoke rising from the horizon, orbs of light, and unrecognizable objects floating on the water—fleeting visions that, as soon as they appeared, were gone. Swell is a retelling of events as Foster interprets them utilizing photographic images, artist books and newsprint editions. The series consists of digitally manipulated images using photographs both taken and found. Foster’s own shots are of natural landscapes, architecture, and hand-made, model-scale, built environments that are lit, photographed, and digitally manipulated. Through this series, Foster’s intention is not to illustrate in a literal sense, or to dictate and record the witness version of the experience, but instead to take liberties with a narrative account of an event and reconstruct the outcome.
Julianna Foster received an MFA in Book Arts + Printmaking from the Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and a BFA in Design from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.She is currently a visiting assistant professor in the Photography program at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, where she has taught in various disciplines since 2003. Foster has been a guest lecturer at Rowan University and Temple University and has sat on Fulbright and Graduate Thesis Committees at UArts. Foster was a 2014 artist in residence at the Philadelphia Photo Art Center and selected as a 2015/2016 finalist at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia. She is a recipient of several Faculty Enrichment Grants as well as a Faculty Professional Development Grant from UArts. Foster was an artist member of Philadelphia’s Vox Populi Gallery from 2006 to 2013.
Her solo exhibitions include Philadelphia Art Alliance, Painted Bride Art Center, Fleisher Art Memorial (2013 Wind Challenge recipient). Group exhibition include: Pennsylvania College of Art and Design (Lancaster PA), Newspace Center for Photography (Portland, OR), Abington Art Center (Abington, PA), and Grizzly Grizzly (Philadelphia, PA). She has also participated in international group exhibitions in England, Romania, Spain, Korea and Bulgaria, and has work featured in private collections across the country.