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Julian Watts: “Exploring the Intersection of Art, Craft, and Design Through Contemporary Woodcarving”

Thursday, March 7 at 4:00pm

Lawrence Hall, room 115
1190 Franklin Boulevard, Eugene, OR

University of Oregon Visiting Artist Lecture Series

Presented by the Department of Art and Center for Art Research


Julian Watts combines traditional woodcarving techniques with an experimental sculptural approach to explore the formal and conceptual intersections between the human body, the landscape, and the functional objects that we interact with every day. This approach has continued to evolve, expanding to incorporate an entire ecosystem of abstract, biomorphic wood and bronze works, ranging from bowls, to furniture, to largescale, purely sculptural pieces. Watts’ organic, open ended approach to woodcarving embraces a space of playful ambiguity, where the viewer is free to find poetic and unexpected associations between the body, the landscape, and the overlooked objects that we live with, revealing new and unexpected ways of seeing the world around us.

After earning a BFA in sculpture at the University of Oregon in 2012, Watts returned to his hometown of San Francisco to apprentice under furniture makers before beginning his own practice. His work has been shown internationally including solo exhibitions at Sarah Myerscough Gallery in London, Patrick Parrish Gallery in New York, Curators Cube in Tokyo, and Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco. He has participated in numerous art and design fairs, including Design Miami/Basel, Fog Fair, and Salon NY. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, The New Yorker, and American Craft Magazine, among others. He was shortlisted for the Loewe Craft Prize in 2018. Watts has taught courses at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch, and was the 2018 Wornick Distinguished Visiting Professor of Wood Arts at the California College of the Arts. He’s based in Alpine, OR.

Lectures are also live streamed and the videos are archived on YouTube.