Julie Stunden


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Julie Stunden
About the author

I am a working artist in Pittsburgh. I teach part time at the University of Pittsburgh in the Studio Art Department. I am Art Program Director for FUSE(fusepgh.org) an after school literacy program working with urban teens. I have an MFA in studio Arts from Yale University and a BFA in studio art from Indiana University Bloomington. My children and I returned from South Africa in August 2011 where we lived for 12 months with my husband who is still working in Cape Town for Architecture for Humanity. During our year in South Africa, I taught after school art in the Black Township of Philippi at Zisukhanyo High. While there I also mentored a teaching assistant and assisted in the development of an enrichment center/daycare in the heart of the shack community. I created connections and found opportunities for impoverished youth to free workshops in the white community that could provide networking and employment skills. When not in the Township I worked tirelessly on distilling my experiences into art. The work represented my growing relationships in the black community, the study of birdlife and the bio diverse landscape in juxtaposition to the cobbled together shack housing. Whether my artwork revealed the privileged or the poor it was alway enveloped in the mystery of the South African light. Having returned to the U.S. and my responsibilities of single parenting, I am trying to find my way back into the studio all the while conscious of the shadows and influences of South Africa following in my wake.