Ceramics: Art and Perception

Julia Galloway: The Democracy of Utility

Some people have administrative skills but would rather just be artists and teachers. That’s the case with Julia Galloway, who has headed the art department at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and at the University of Montana in Missoula. She wanted to be at Montana and had to take the administrative job to get there.

I became interested in moving out here
because I felt like there was an openness here.
Some of that might be geographical, some of
that might be that the history felt a little bit
different. The history of Rudy Autio, that’s
the history here. He taught at the university,
so I move into his line, and there is something
about that rebelliousness that is appealing to
me. I loved RIT but that was a different kind
of history.

Galloway, a third daughter, was raised in Boston by a mom who was a poet and an English teacher.

I started making pots in high school, and
those were very tumultuous years in our
family. My high school had a pottery shop
that was quiet, with big beautiful windows.
I learned how to throw very quickly because
when I was a kid I used to drive my father’s
tractor. My father had a farm in Connecticut. So I had this hand-eye-foot coordination
thing from working with him on the farm.
I was good at it, and being good at anything
in high school is sort of a miracle.
I bought my wheel in high school with my
baby-sitting money, and it was $352, which
is a lot of hours of baby-sitting. The amazing
thing is that I brought it home on the subway.
Because I remember asking the guy in the
train station to open up the wheel-chair
gates because I couldn’t lift the wheel over
the turnstile. It was a Shimpo so it was in a
crate. I just can’t believe

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