About . . .

I am a project-based artist, working with photography, collage and printmaking in the San Francisco Bay Area where I work out of PROJECT 275, An Artist's Collective in Redwood City, California.  I repurpose found materials-- including snapshots left to me by family members, 19th-century photographs excavated from people's attics, as well as microfilm, books and LIFE Magazines discarded by libraries. I am attracted to old data-- information contained in formats no longer relevant, mostly from the 1960s back to the 19th-century.  Collecting, reading, deconstructing and reinterpreting these materials allows me to reassess the past from a new vantage point, gaining better perspective on current events. Mostly, I enjoy the excavation of old materials that show their age, either in the way they have been handled, or in the information they carry.

My work has been shown throughout the US and abroad and is included in collections, including the Library of Congress Print Collection, the Alexandria Library in Egypt, the Sheffield International Artists’ Book Prize Collection in England, the Siena Art Institute in Italy and the collection of the City of Palo Alto, California. 

I also have participated on David Best's Temple art crew and have worked on large scale builds in Northern Ireland, the Smithsonian in DC, in San Francisco and at Burning Man.  I have also worked with artist Michael Garlington at the Hermitage Museum, Norfolk, Virginia and at Burning Man. I have been part of the Burning Man Photo Documentary Team for three years and consider photography an important part of my creative process. 

I received my Masters, Museum Practice Certificate and Bachelors Degrees at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in the History of Art.  For fifteen years I worked in museums, non-profits and auction houses as a photography specialist. Working with collections of other people's work continues to influence my art process.


Julia Nelson-Gal (photo by Emma Liu, 2017)


Artist in Residence
PROJECT 275: Artists Collective, Redwood City, CA, 2014 - current
Mining the Collection, Badè Archaeology Museum, PSR, Berkeley, CA, 2010- 2011
Jentel Foundation Artist Residency, Sheridan, Wyoming, August-September 2010
Cubberley Community Center, Palo Alto, CA, August 2005-2014
Kala Institute, Berkeley, CA, August – September 2008, December 2005 – August 2006

Art Fair Participation:
Art Santa Fe with Opus Art Collective, 2018

Teaching/ Lectures / Projects:
        Graduate Mixed Media Photo, Academy of Art University, SF, 2012-2013
        City of Palo Alto Fine Art Program, Palo Alto, CA, 2009-2013
        Graphic Arts Workshop, San Francisco, CA, 2009
        Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, CA, 2009
        Art and Healing: Art in the Present,  Doctoral Art Therapy Students, 2013
        Analog Data: My recent Photo Books, SF Camerawork, 2013
        Collage Centennial Panel, Menlo College, Menlo Park, 2013
        Photography and Printmaking, AAU Printmaking Class, 2012
        When Photography Isn't Enough, AAU Alternative Processes Class, 2011
        Turning Found Objects into Art, Palo Alto Art Center, 2010
        Interview: Youtube: Julia Nelson-Gal: Found Materials, SVOS Art Talk, MidPen Media Center, 2017
        Build Crew w/David Best, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C., 2018
        Build Crew w/ David Best, SFAI, SF, CA and World of Wood, Longbeach, CA, 2017
        Build Crew w/Michael Garlington, Burning Man Art, Hermitage Museum, Norfolk, VA, 2017
        Build Crew w/ Michael Garlington, Totem of Confessions, Burning Man, Black Rock City, Nevada, 2017
        Build Crew w/ David Best,  Temple, Patricia's Green, San Francsico, 2015
        Build Crew w/ David Best, Temple, Derry, Northern Ireland, 2015
        Build Crew w/ David Best,  Temple, Burning Man, Black Rock City, Nevada, 2014
        Founding Member and Artist, PROJECT 275 Artists’s Collective, 2014
        Collaborator, The Journey Home Project at Burning Man, with Maria Scileppi, 2012
        Director of the "2012 Sketchbook Community Project" (volunteer)
             for the City of Palo Alto and Art House in Brooklyn, 2011-2012
2014    Exhibition Award, Sky: A National Juried Exhibition, Bedford Art Gallery, Walnut Creek    
2013    Jury Selection, Cover to Cover, SF Camerawork(Nion McEvoy, Darius Himes, Julie Casemore)
2012    Honorable Mention, Altered Book Show, Marin MOCA, Novato, CA
2011     Exhibition Award, Outlandish, Bedford Art Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA (Cory Keller)
2011     First Place Exhibition Award, Environment and Conservation, Los Altos, Ca
2007    Juror’s Award, Sanchez Art Center Bay Area Annual, Pacifica CA (Rene Guzman)
2007    Award Winner, Artfully Reclaimed, Marin MOCA, CA(Donna Seager)
2006    First Place Exhibition Award Winner, Collage, Impact Gallery, Buffalo, NY
2005    Exhibition Award Winner, Black, White and Read, Cabrillo College, Soquel, CA
2005    First Place, Manipulated Photography, The Palo Alto Weekly
2005    Art Award, Silicon Valley Open Studios, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA

Solo and Two-person Exhibitions:
2014    Mountain View Center of Performing Arts, CA (February 2014)
2013    Monterey Peninsula College Art Gallery, Monterey, CA(November 2013)
2011    Doug Adams Gallery, Badè Archaeology Museum, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley
2010    Michael Hunter Gallery at PikNik, Oak Bluffs, MA
2006   Phantom Art Gallery, City of Milpitas Community Center, Milpitas, CA

Group Exhibitions:
2018    Art Santa Fe with OPUS Art Collective, 2018, Santa Fe, NM
            Magnificent,  Gray Loft Gallery, Oakland, CA
2017    Small Works Show, Groundwork, New Bedford, MA
            Guilty Pleasures, Jen Tough Gallery, Benicia, CA
            Marvelous! International Exhibition of Collage/Assemblage, Sebastopol, CA
            Blue, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, CA
2016    Habitat, A Smith Gallery, Johnsonville, TX
            7th Annual Altered Book,  Marin MOCA, Novato, CA
            Left Coast Annual Exhibition, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA
            Salon Statewide Exhibition, Triton Museum, Santa Clara, CA
            Palimpsest Culture, Soltesz Fine Art, Portland, OR
            Dada is It’s Name, Branner Spangenberg Gallery, Redwood City, CA
            One Plus One, Gray Loft Gallery, Oakland, CA
2015    Sheffield International Artists’ Book Prize, Sheffield, England
            Second Annual Juried Book Exhibition, WOCA, Fort Worth, Texas
2014    The Cubberley Diaspora, The Art Arc Gallery, San Jose, CA(June)
            PROJECT 275 Presents, Gray Loft Gallery, Oakland, CA (August)
            Sky: A National Juried Exhibition, Bedford Art Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA
            The Sixth Annual Plastic Camera Show, Rayko Photo Center Gallery, San Francisco
            85 Artists: 85 Years, Menlo College, Menlo Park, CA  
            Home: A Juried Photography Exhibition, Gray Loft Gallery, Oakland, CA
            Sixth International Biennale for the Artist's Book, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt     
            The Cubberley Diaspora, The Art Arc Gallery, San Jose, CA(June)
2013    By Mostly Unexpected Means, Meridian Gallery, San Francisco, CA
            Collage Centennial, Menlo College, Menlo Park, CA  
            The Art of Giving, Gary Francis Fine Art Gallery, Alameda, CA  
            Short Stories: 7 Bay Area Women Artists, Gray Loft Gallery, Oakland, CA
            Cover to Cover: A Survey of Artist-members Photo Books, SF Camerawork
            Brooklyn Arthouse Print Exchange Exhibition, Graphic Arts Workshop, SF
            Brooklyn Arthouse Print Exchange Exhibition,  New York, NY
            The Sixth Annual Plastic Camera Show, Rayko Photo Center Gallery, San Francisco
            International Biennale for Miniature Graphics, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt
2012    Every Expression is Justified, California Society of Printmakers, Thoreau Gallery, San Francisco, CA
            Graphite, Inks and Other Means, Palo Alto City Hall, Palo Alto, CA
            The Altered Book, 2012, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA
            California Society of Printmakers Centennial Show, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA
            Royal Society of Printmakers Exhibition, Bankside Gallery, London, England
            Light, the Bade Archaeology Museum, PSR, Berkeley, CA
            The Fifth Annual Plastic Camera Show, Rayko Photo Center Gallery, San Francisco
            Traces, Marks and Fragments, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, CA
            H20: Fragility and Strength, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
2011     SNAP: National Juried Photography Exhibition, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA
             Drawing Connections, Siena Art Institute, Siena, Italy
             Environment and Conservation, Los Altos Town Hall, Los Altos, CA
             The Altered Book 2011, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA
             Bloom, Palo Alto City Hall, Palo Alto, CA
             Artists Book Faire, Fabula Urbis, Lisboa, Portugal
             Outlandish, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA
             No Mirrors: Images made without Cameras, Rayko Gallery, San Francisco, CA
             Light/Dark: Print Selections by Enrique Chagoya, Berkeley Art Center, CA
2010     Loteria Portfolio, produced by SF Center for the Book, San Francisco, CA
             International Center for Prints Benefit Auction, New York, NY
             50/50, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, California
             Roll Call, San Francisco Camerawork, SFCA
             Primo Tempre Pictoris in Insula, PikNik Gallery, Oak Bluffs, MA
             Memories, Stanford Nursing School, Stanford CA
             International Center for Prints, New York, NY
             Printing From Perception, Adobe Art Center, Castro Valley, CA
             Past, Present, Future: Artists Reflect on Sustainability, Sonoma State U, CA
             Prints from the Studio of Glen Roger, Stone Metal Press, San Antonio, TX
             A Space of One’s Own, Cubberley Artists, Palo Alto City Hall,
             RE: (rebound, recycled, repurposed, reused), Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, CO
             25th Bay Area Annual, Gallery Route Route One, Pt Reyes,
             Cutting Edge: West Coast Collage and Assemblage, Coos Bay Museum, Oregon
2009    Hecho en Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Museum of Art, Mexico
             Under Pressure: Society of California Printmakers, Sun Gallery, Hayward, CA
             Mostly Black and White, Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, CA
             Printed, Cabrillo College Art Gallery
             50/50, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA  
             Monterey Printmakers, Felix Kulpa Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA
             Silicon Valley Artists, Intel Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA
             Pressing On: Monterey Peninsula College Print Club, Pacific Grove Art Center, CA
2008    Fresh Work, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA
             Cubberley Artists, Palo Alto City Hall, Palo Alto, CA
             25th Juried Exhibition, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA     
             18 Months: Taking the Pulse of Bay Area Photography, SF Arts Commission Gallery, SF
             Madison National Show, Madison-Morgan Art Center, Madison GA
             Gentes, Lugares, Cosas , Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo. San Jose, Costa Rica
             Cinco Californianos en Dardoo, Dardo costado Este de la Casa Amarilla, SJ, Costa Rica
2007    Bay Area Annual, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA
             Art that Speaks: Blending Word and Image, O’Hanlon Gallery, Mill Valley, CA
             All Things Great and Small, Artisans Gallery, San Rafael, CA
             Other People’s Memories:  Found Photos, Mendocino College Gallery, CA
             Made in A Day, Herger Gallery, Solano Community College, Fairfield, CA
             Narrative Photography, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
             Artfully Reclaimed, Novato Art Center, Novato, CA
             Body of Works, and Housewarming, Works Gallery, San Jose, CA
             Arts on Fire XI, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA (Rene de Guzman)
             The Art of the Book, San Francisco Center for the Book, SF, CA
             Bay Area Annual, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA  
             Dada, Surrealism, Readymade and Found Object, 2nd City Gallery, Long Beach, CA  
2006    Fresh Work, Artists in Residence, Kala Institute, Berkeley, CA
             Is Dada Dead? O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Mill Valley, CA
             We Are Family, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
             Out of the Box: Art Expressing Life, Women Beyond Borders, Palo Alto Art Center, CA
             Works on Paper, Axis Gallery, Sacramento, CA
             Arts Commission Exhibition, Berkeley Civic Center, Berkeley, CA
             By The Hand, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA  
             Collage, Impact Gallery, Buffalo NY
             Context: A Blending of Images and Language, Herger Gallery, Solano College,  CA
             The Body: Figurative Art, Fetterley Gallery, Vallejo, CA
             Arts On Fire X, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CA  
             The Intimate Portrait, STAC, St. James, NY
             Explorations in Art and Language, Sebastopol Center for the Arts
             Annual Juried Show, Gallery Route One, Pt. Reyes, CA (Kenneth Baker)
2005    Fresh Work, Artists in Residence Annual Show, Kala Institute, Berkeley, CA,
             Cubberley Artists, Synopsis Corporation Gallery, Mountain View,  CA
             Art and the Interpretation of Quilts, Penn Charter School, Philadelphia, PA
             My Cultural Heritage, Northwest Cultural Council, Barrington, IL
             Snap to Grid, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Los Angeles, CA
             The Mona Lisa Project, Works Gallery, San Jose, CA
             Sixth International Collage Exhibition, FFCS, Austin, Texas
             Unique Markings, Visual Anthropology, Francis Hardy Art Center, Wisconsin
             Black, White and Read, Cabrillo College, Soquel, CA
             Book Arts and Parts, Herbst International Exhibition Hall, SF, CA

Publications and Other Information:
85 Years: 85 Artists, by the Menlo College Art Committee,  July 2014
Diablo Magazine,  “Sky High,” full-page reproduction in exhibition review, April 2014
California Society of Printmakers: One Hundred Years 1913-2013, Reproduction/biography
Six-page spread: Bibliotheca Alexandrina International Biennale for Miniature Graphics, Egypt,
Included in: Caught on Film: Fifth Annual International Plastic Camera Show,  Authors: Carlos Arrieta
    and Ann Jastrab, Rayko Photo Center, 2012
Reproduction and mention, Walnut Creek Patch, July 2011
Mention, Review of Kala Annual Show, East Bay Express, Dec. 31, 2008
Cover Reproduction, SF Camerawork Journal, Spring 2008
Reproduction and mention, Bay Area Annual Review, The Dirty Palette, November 2007
Mention, Arts on Fire Review, The Dirty Palette, May 2006
Reproduction and short article, Palo Alto Weekly, June 2005
“Art with Heart” Palo Alto Weekly, May 2004

Board Affiliations:
Southern Graphics Council International 2014 Conference in SF, Exhibitions Committee, 2014
San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA 2004 - 2008
FotoForum, SFMOMA, SF, CA, President, 2000 – 2003
ArtTable, A group of Professional Women in the Arts, SF, CA
San Francisco Camerawork Board, San Francisco, CA
Mother Jones International Fund for Social Documentary Photography, SF, CA
Photography Advisory Board, San Francisco City College, SF, CA  

Auction participation:
Since 2004, I have donated multiple pieces to the following non-profits:  International Center for Prints New York, New York, 2010;  San Francisco Camerawork Auction, San Francisco, CA,  (2005-2011);  Marin MOCA Altered Book Auction, Novato, CA (2011-12);  Center for the Book, Loteria Portfolio contributor, 2010;  San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA;  Goodwill and Sustainable San Mateo County, 2010;  Works Gallery Auction, San Jose, CA, 2006

California Society of Printmakers (Juried), 2009-current

Career History:
Art Instructor, 2008- 2014
Art Appraiser, Photo specialist, 1996 – 2000, 2010 - 2014
Vice President and Photography Specialist, Butterfield Auctioneers, 1991-1995
Curatorial Assistant, Photography Department, SFMOMA, 1989-1991
Director of Education, Friends of Photography, San Francisco and Carmel, CA, 1984-1989
Curatorial Intern, Photography Department, Art Institute of Chicago, 1983-1984
Research Assistant, Modern Art Department, Detroit Institute of Arts, 1982-1983

Selected Collections:
    Sheffield International Artist's Book Prize Collection (artist's book)
    Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. (etching)
    Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt (monoprints, artists’ book)
    Siena Art Institute, Siena, Italy (drawings)
    City of Palo Alto Art Collection, CA (Mixed-media photo collage)
    John Coetze, Dorothy Driver, Australia (Mixed-media photo collage)
    Brooklyn Art Library, Sketchbook Project, Brooklyn, NY (Mixed-media collages)

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor:  Masters of Art, Certificate in Museum Practices, Bachelors of Art
     MA, Art History;  Thesis: Photomontage and the Montage Sensibility (Rudolf Arnheim advisor)
     Certificate inMuseum Studies;   Final Exhibition: Forest, Prairie, Plains: Native American Art from the Chandler-Pohrt Collection,
          Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan and UM Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan
     BA, Major: Honors Art History and Psychology;  Thesis: The Sequence in Photography and the Arts