Julie Heffernan, Camp Bedlam, 2016, oil on canvas, 68 x 104 inches.
When the Water Rises: Recent Paintings by Julie Heffernan
Organized by the LSU Museum of Art


With waters rising all over the globe, Heffernan imagines worlds in trees or life on rafts in which undulating mattresses, tree branches, and road signs act as guides for this wayward journey. Construction cones interrupt the landscape, signaling places to stop and enter interior worlds, to reflect on the human condition—its feckless activity, violence, failure, and redemption. Heffernan reveals worlds within worlds, where her characters tend these alternative environments and safeguard remaining bounties we cannot live without. Her attention to detail—rendering in miniature the Palmyra Temple destroyed by ISIS or the names of embarkation points for Syrian refugees—is a way to remember calamitous events of the past years and mark the plights of victims of current unrest. For Heffernan, this unrest is exacerbated by diminishing water resources and drought due to changing weather patterns and planetary excess. Intricately wrought, Heffernan’s paintings evoke the fantastical allegory of Hieronymus Bosch and the sublime of Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt.


Julie Heffernan received her MFA in Painting from Yale and a BFA from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Heffernan has received numerous grants including an NEA, NYFA, and Fullbright Fellowship and is in the collection of major museums including the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She is represented by P.P.O.W in New York and Catharine Clark in San Francisco. Heffernan is a Professor of Fine Arts at Montclair State University.


11 paintings, ranging from 55 x 65 to 70 x 105 inches

Requires 130 linear feet

Participation fee of $5,500, includes 25 copies of fully illustrated publication

Available for periods of 8–9 weeks, August 2019–December 2022

LSU Museum of Art makes all shipping arrangements, exhibitor pays pro-rated shipping


Courtney Taylor, Curator



Categories: Traveling Exhibitions