First Heritage Federal Credit Union Gallery

The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes is pleased to announce Julie Waltz Stalker’s How I Deal, a new exhibition at the new First Heritage Federal Credit Union Headquarters at 202 Denison Parkway East, Corning, NY! How I Deal will be on view during regular business hours from January 22, 2021 to April 23, 2021. Due to the pandemic, the First Heritage lobby is currently closed to the public, but Julie‘s work can be seen online here. Please visit First Heritage’s website to stay current on changes to accessing the lobby. Through the curation of Erica Unterman, this initiative presents a new opportunity for artist members to professionally exhibit and sell their work. For more information on how to exhibit, please visit the Call For Artists.

Artist Statement

Two years into the Trump presidency I started painting flowers as therapy. Life in America had begun to feel like some kind of deadlier, more sinister version of Whac-A-Mole where each day brought multiple new horrors. I was overwhelmed by everything I could not do to stop the onslaught of spite and abuse and unrepentant lies.

It seems silly, but painting flowers brought me happiness. I believe there was power in transforming all that grief, rage, and helplessness into beautiful objects. The meditative act of painting was a way to ease my anxious mind, to step into my power, to shine a small light into the darkness I saw around me.

Throughout history flowers have carried deep symbolism and I tried to access some of that in my paintings. A chrysanthemum to commemorate death and sorrow, a dying sunflower to honor a vibrant life cut short. Pink peonies for honor, white for compassion and regret. White poppies for remembrance, white poppies as a prayer for peace.

(Ten percent of sales from this show will be donated to organizations that fight for social justice and anti-racism.)

Artist Bio

Julie WaltzStalker grew up in Staunton, Virginia. She attended Houghton College, where she received a BA of Fine Art in painting and sculpture. In 2006 she moved to Corning, New York to study under the painter Thomas S. Buechner as an apprentice and studio assistant.

Julie’s work is deeply personal and reflects her experiences growing up with chronic illness in a dysfunctional fundamentalist family. Her paintings convey themes of feminism, motherhood, beauty, shame, pain, spirituality, and resilience. Julie creates, teaches, and freelances in Corning, New York, where she lives with her husband and daughter.