On June 5, 2012, the planet Venus will move between the Earth and the Sun, visible to the human eye as a small black dot crossing the solar disk. This “Venus transit” is a rare astronomical phenomenon: the next will occur in 2117. Longmont-based artist Julie Clement celebrates this event in Venus and Sun, a monumental (32 feet by 8 feet) wall mural commissioned by the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center and supported by the Friends of the Longmont Museum. Created in the artist’s signature dot-style of painting over a period of six weeks, Clement’s vivid and imaginative interpretation of these celestial bodies is at once overwhelming in scale and intricate in detail. Its repetition of form—thousands of dots—and its vibrancy of color inspire a meditative experience for the viewer.
Dots figure big in the work of Georges Seurat, Roy Lichtenstein, Australian Aboriginal artists, and Colorado modernist Vance Kirkland (1904–1981). Clement, as Kirkland did, paints with the tips of dowel rods to depict celestial bodies and cosmic phenomena. “Dots make me joyful. They’re so simple—like a prayer,” says Clement, who finds inspiration in the dot’s pure organic form and its ability to render highly complex and rich compositions that transcend the ornamental. Clement is also drawn to the mythology of Venus, which, for millennia, has been viewed as a source of love, beauty, and creativity.
The scale of Clement’s mural is also significant to the museum at this time:
“The Longmont Museum and Cultural Center is a space where artists can think big and realize large-scale work that is more difficult to show in a commercial gallery setting. Julie’s work, along with a mural currently on our building’s exterior, Overflow, by Longmont-based artist Gamma Acosta, demonstrates a new approach to featuring local artists. Our hope is that it will raise awareness of the creativity and innovation that exists in our community. ”
– Wesley Jessup, Director, Longmont Museum and Cultural Center
Please visit the following video link from the Longmont Times-Call: Mural at Longmont Museum Marks Venus’ Transit
Please contact me for more information.