Julia “Caroline” Youngblood will host an opening reception and gallery talk on Friday, January 10 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center at 1001 Ryan Street. Her exhibition will run through Saturday, March 1, 2014.
Youngblood grew up in her grandmother’s home surrounded by cotton fields on Breston Plantation, located in Riverton, Louisiana. In summer 2010, Youngblood found a time capsule while cleaning out her grandmother’s home. Stored safely and securely in a hallway drawer were two spools of 8mm Kodachrome film, circa 1954. Upon closer inspection, she realized this footage was vacation film from a Youngblood family trip to The Enchanted Trail in Colorado. She decided to use this treasure as a starting point to create a body of artwork. 18 Seconds: The Enchanted Trail is an installation of small scale monochromatic watercolors hung salon style. The scenes represent 18 seconds of her grandmother’s family footage taken on a sunny day of her father and grandfather walking the Enchanted Trail in Colorado. Youngblood said, “By painting these stills, I examine the interaction between father and son (recorded by mother) dividing the film into 30 frames per second. The sheer number of paintings is an attempt to archive, preserve, and pay homage to the past and these memories, while the overflow of information is meant to mimic the context in which the film was found. Some images are clearer and in focus, others are void of detail and seem to be fading. Their scattered arrangement engages the viewer with the natural desire to create some sort of order out of chaos.”
Youngblood said, “I make art from objects I find and experiences I have had growing up at my grandmother’s family home.” The Found in Rivertonseries was created after she found a bundle of World War Two Era recipe booklets her grandmother had saved from trips to the supermarket. The paintings have original vintage recipes collaged beneath the painted surface. The collage creates a geometric abstraction she uses to incorporate a figurative image which she derives from early twentieth century family photographs and 1940’s advertisements. Bright color, contrast, and expressive painterly marks are used to update ordinarily monochromatic snapshots and give a new life to discarded ephemera.
Youngblood attended the Louisiana State University where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting in 2003, graduating Magna cum Laude. In 2004- 2005, Caroline entered the Master of Fine Arts program at Syracuse University, New York, and later transferred to Louisiana Tech University to complete her degree.
Also opening this evening will be Bill Owens: Suburbia on national tour as well as an exhibition by local artist Jessica Gayle. HistoricCity Hall is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted. Charlestown Farmers’ Market is open on Bilbo Street behind the center every Saturday 8 a.m.-noon. For more information, please call 491-9147 or visit www.cityoflakecharles.com.