Past Resident

Julie Puma

Brought as a baby to England by well-traveled parents, Julie Puma spent her first fourteen years there with summers spent in her native Brooklyn. Her earliest memory of art is at age five when her mother gave her a set of oil paints which she used to paint a flower on a Styrofoam meat package. Only a year later her mother would pass away from breast cancer. Her father remarried and his work with IBM moved Julie, her sister, and the new family back to the United States where they settled in the Chicago area. An interest in art wasn’t apparent in high school, but after graduating from Western Illinois State University, Julie went on to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago to achieve a Masters of Art in Art Therapy. Her passion for painting was kindled as she practiced art therapy while experiencing its healing powers for herself and deepening her own creative talent.

Julie made her way to Colorado to care for her sister who was also afflicted with breast cancer. Here she met her husband, gave birth to a daughter, and continued to refine and cultivate her artistic growth. Fueled by her family tragedies, Julie’s painting and art evolved as a means for greater communication and exploration of social and political themes. She earned a second Master’s degree in Fine Art in Visual Art with the Vermont College of Fine Art. Currently, Julie is a full-time Faculty Member in Foundations at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver. Julie’s work has been exhibited nationally and locally in several solo and col- laborative shows since 1997. Prized by collectors, her drawings and paintings are personal and powerful, resonant and relevant contemporary realism.

Noticing the way in which her teen-aged daughter communicates almost completely in imagery instead of words through the popular social media platform, Snapchat, inspired Julie to give substantive form through oil paintings and drawings to those urgent, ten-second disappearing screen captures. In creating tangible, preserved art from those rapidly fleeting images, their urgency is slowed to offer closer contemplation and context.