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Published: January 03, 2018

When the Water Rises: Recent Paintings by Julie Heffernan

The University of Tampa’s Scarfone/Hartley Gallery will present When the Water Rises: Recent Paintings by Julie Heffernan from Jan. 24–March 3, 2018. There will be a gallery talk with Heffernan on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 6 p.m., and a reception and curatorial tour with Francesca Bacci, UT associate professor of art, on Friday, Jan. 26, from 7–9 p.m.

Heffernan’s recent paintings create alternative habitats in response to environmental disaster and planetary excess. With rising waters, she imagines worlds in trees or on rafts in which undulating mattresses, tree boughs and road signs guide the journey. Construction cones interrupt the landscape signaling places to stop, enter tiny interior worlds and reflect on the human condition — its feckless activity, violence, failure and redemption.

Heffernan tends these alternative environments to safeguard bounties we cannot live without. In other moments, she names names and points fingers to those people and activities implicated in recent calamities of both the physical and socio-political environment.

Intricately wrought, Heffernan’s painting evoke the fantastical allegory of Hieronymus Bosch and the sublime of Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt.

Heffernan received her MFA in painting from Yale and a BFA from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has received numerous grants, including a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts grant and a Fulbright Fellowship. Her works are in the collections of major museums, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She is represented by P.P.O.W. in New York and Catharine Clark in San Francisco. Heffernan is a professor of fine arts at Montclair State University.

“When the Water Rises” is a collaboration between the Louisiana State University (LSU) College of Art + Design and the LSU Museum of Art. A fully illustrated catalogue, with essays by curator Courtney Taylor, art critic and writer Eleanor Heartney and LSU professor of art Kelli Scott Kelley will be available for purchase. All proceeds will go to the Friends of the Gallery fund, which supports events, educational programs and exhibitions at the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery.

The gallery is located on campus at the R.K. Bailey Art Studios at 310 N. Blvd. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. There is no charge for admission.

For more information, contact Jocelyn Boigenzahn, gallery director, at or (813) 253-6217.