Anthropology and art both examine the human experience and graduating senior Juli Badics majors in both to capture her fascination with people. Always an avid artist, Juli almost attended art school in Chicago, but ended up choosing UVM, where she discovered anthropology. Outside of her classes, Juli works as an illustrator for the Community News Service. Juli spent the last year on a very personal art project, Tethered By Invisible String. The show opens to the public this week in the Colburn Gallery, on the second floor of the Williams Building.
Based on her own experiences as a first generation Hungarian-American, the show features paintings which reveal scenes of life at her grandparents’ homes in Hungary. One painting shows her grandparents working in their garden. Another portrays the family seated at dinner, suggesting how meaningful meals were, and highlighting the full array of Hungarian cuisine spread out across the table. Another exhibits her grandparents’ yard in the afternoon, with striking yellow coloring. The colors in each of these paintings were very deliberately chosen.
“I was focusing on working in a limited color palette,” Juli said. “For the first one, I worked within the realm of blues and the opposite of blue is orange. So, blue and orange were the two colors in that scene. Then for the second one the colors I chose were red and its opposite green. And for the third, I chose yellow and its opposite purple.”
The use of opposite colors creates a striking contrast in each of these paintings. The oranges stand out against the blue garden, the greenery outside and on everyone’s plates stand out against the reddish dining table, and the blue flowers stand out against the afternoon light. These contrasts are intended to represent the contrast between Juli’s experience of being Hungarian and being American.
“I’ve always been interested in themes of being between,” Juli said. “As a first generation American, I have grown up with a fully Hungarian culture at home, but in America, so I’m kind of in between the two places. That’s what this art show is about. It’s about how all these different scenes and settings in Hungary had a huge impact on my childhood and how I’ve come to terms with that.”
Juli painted the three pieces shown here as part of an independent study project last semester. The new art show will include 10 additional paintings that show other aspects of life at her grandparents’ homes in Hungary. The show will be available to all UVM students and faculty at the Colburn gallery in Williams Hall from April 26 through May 1.