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Press Release

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018


Sallie Wiggins
PR Specialist
757-425-0000 ex. 321

Virginia Beach, VA – September 4, 2018 - The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) celebrates the opening of When the Water Rises: Recent Paintings by Julie Heffernan.

Julie Heffernan's recent paintings create alternative habitats in response to environmental disaster and planetary excess. With rising waters, she imagines worlds in trees or on rafts in which undulating mattresses, tree boughs, and road signs guide the journey. Construction cones interrupt the landscape signaling places to stop, enter tiny interior worlds, and reflect on the human condition—its feckless activity, violence, failure, and redemption. Heffernan tends these alternative environments to safeguard bounties we cannot live without. In other moments, she names and points fingers to those people and activities implicated in recent calamities of both the physical and socio-political environment. Intricately wrought, Heffernan's paintings evoke the fantastical allegory of Hieronymus Bosch and the sublime of Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt.

The exhibition, organized by the Louisiana State University Museum of Art, has traveled to venues including Scarfone/Hartley Gallery at The University of Tampa, Tampa, Florida; The Mennello Museum of American and Public Art, Orlando, Florida; Palmer Museum of Art at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.

"When the Water Rises" is a collaboration between the LSU College of Art + Design and LSU Museum of Art. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by curator Courtney Taylor, art critic and writer Eleanor Heartney, and LSU Professor of Art Kelli Scott Kelley.

ABOUT JULIE HEFFERNAN: 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.

ABOUT MOCA: The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), located in Virginia Beach, is a non-profit that exists to foster awareness, exploration and understanding of the significant art of our time. MOCA is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). As Virginia's only museum dedicated solely to the exhibition of contemporary art, MOCA encourages visitors to discover and explore art and to engage in hands-on art experiences.

Todd Schorr: Atomic Cocktail
Andy Harris: A Second Helping of Leftovers

MOCA is located at 2200 Parks Ave., at the entrance of I-264 in Virginia Beach. The Museum is open Tue-Fri 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sat and Sun 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is $7.70 for adults and $5.50 for seniors/65+, students (includes children 5 and up) and active military. MOCA members and children four and under are admitted free of charge.

Julie Heffernan. Camp Bedlam, 2016. Oil on canvas. 68x104 inches. Courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery