Julia Scheckel: Artist in Residence at Lake Park
November 19, 2022 | Topics: featured artist
The Natural Realm presents Julia Scheckel, who is among 11 artists participating in a year-long residency program called ARTservancy, a collaboration between Gallery 224 in Port Washington and the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, River Revitalization Foundation, Milwaukee Area Land Conservancy, Tall Pines Conservancy, and Milwaukee County Parks Department. The mission of ARTservancy is to promote the visionary work of both the artists and conservationists. Each artist has selected a preserve to spend time in and to engage with.
Artist Statement by Julia Scheckel
My approach to creating imagery starts with the act of carrying around a camera. While going through daily life, or during special adventures, imagery will jump out at me. In that moment I know that I need to record it. These flashes of connection are often inspired by the sublime qualities of nature, or cherished moments of friendship. I reproduce these experiences through printmaking. The act of making prints combines my love of working in the photography darkroom with my love for drawing. Printmaking is a time consuming process which allows me to relive the moments being depicted. My work encourages the viewer to slow down and appreciate what makes life worth living. For me, that means taking time to be present with nature or enjoying connections with others. This has led to the great experience I’ve had spending time in Lake Park over the last year as an ARTservancy Artist in Residence
During my time with ARTservancy I’ve been able to devote myself to studying Milwaukee’s Lake Park. In 2015 I moved from rural Wisconsin to Milwaukee for college. Since then I have found solace in Lake Park. This urban park is a special getaway, making it seem like you’re deep in the woods when you’re really in the thick of the city. The rich history of the park has been fascinating to learn about. While taking walks there I find myself thinking about the cycles of life that have existed in that place. The courses of nature that run constantly in loops go through all sorts of colors, feelings, and smells. Different types of humans have called this place home, from native people thousands of years ago, to Victorian era park goers, to the modern-day person. Even the large concrete footbridge over Ravine Road has seen its own cycle: built and rebuilt after years of use. My body of work focuses on these cycles. Photographs that I have taken at Lake Park will become screenprints and lithographs to be shared at Port Washington’s Gallery 224, which helps host this great residency.
Images from Lake Park
I am a printmaker and illustrator based in Milwaukee, WI. I started drawing very young and was fortunate enough to take some extra art classes outside of school. I also went to an arts charter school which solidified my interest in becoming a professional artist. In college I fell in love with printmaking due to its blend of illustration and process, along with my passion for working in the photographic darkroom. I obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art with a concentration in Print and Narrative Forms from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2020. Today I am following my dreams and working as an artist. I am currently an artist in residence with ARTservency, for which I will explore and create a body of work about Milwaukee’s Lake Park. I also spend time as a board member for Anchor Press, Paper & Print. This non-profit is dedicated to running a community printmaking studio in Milwaukee, WI. My first solo exhibition was held in the summer of 2022 at the Pump House Regional Arts Center in La Crosse, WI. It showed woodcuts and screenprints from the last two years that explored the way I connect friendships to a walk in the woods.
To learn more about Lake Park go to our Find-a-Park page.
This residency is sponsored by Milwaukee County Parks Department.
This is the latest in our series of featured artists, which is intended to showcase the work of photographers, artists, writers and other creative individuals in our community whose subjects or themes relate in some broad sense to nature, urban nature, people in nature, etc. To see a list of previously featured artists, click here. The work of the 2019-2020 ARTservancy artists in residence is currently being exhibited monthly at Gallery 224. To meet the other ARTservancy artists in residence, click here.
All images courtesy of the artist, except as noted. The featured image at the top of the page is by Eddee Daniel. Milwaukee County Parks Department is a project partner of A Wealth of Nature.