This month, we are welcoming local artist, Julie Nordstrom, to the T. Ross Kelly Family Gallery. Part of a unique American tradition, Nordstrom paints screens of all shapes and sizes, decorating them landscapes or floral imagery. In this way, Nordstrom creates art and beauty out of something boringly functional, and adds a whimsical, decorative touch to a house’s exterior.
While art has not been my primary vocation, I became fascinated with painted screens in 2006 while traveling in Baltimore. Painted screens date back to the 1930’s and you can still see many of these original screens in windows of East Baltimore. The painted screens I saw were scenes of cottages in rural, pastoral settings, of woodlands and ponds filled with birds. As I further investigated this art form I noticed that the variety and type of painted screens that filled windows and doors were limited only by the artist’s and homeowner’s imagination. I decided this was an endeavor I wanted to pursue and I have fallen in love with painting screens.
It is my hope that by exhibiting my work in the Watertown Library I will help to keep this traditional form of American art alive. When you see the exhibit I think you will be fascinated by the fact that the artwork is almost invisible on the inside, thus your view of the outside is unobstructed. The exterior painting does make it more difficult to see inside the window.
-Julie Nordstrom, Watertown MA