Julie Sirek

Artist Statement

I grew up in an abusive family, and I incorporate my personal history, and the violent experiences of other women and girls, into my work. A Family Matter is a series of handmade gampi dresses that represent 30 Minnesota women who died as a result of domestic violence in 2009. The dresses are beautiful objects, representing the optimistic view women have about marriage. The garments appear similar, yet, each is unique. Juxtaposing the sweetness of the dress with a depiction of violence transforms an object, which usually provides comfort, into one with tortured qualities. Each dress is a page in a haunting narrative. It is my attempt to fully represent the on-going nightmare of domestic violence.

Julie Sirek is one of the exhibiting artists for ENOUGH VIOLENCE: Artists Speak Out.


Born: Minneapolis, MN, 1956

Lives: Minneapolis, MN



B.F.A., Print, Paper, Book, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis MN, 2010


Selected Exhibitions


Art and Soul of Paper, Mandell’s Gallery, Norwich, England

Ephemeris, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN

Fiberart International 2013, Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA

Paper Circle, The Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation, Cleveland, OH           



Bojagi & Beyond, Heyri Artist Community, Seoul, South Korea

Family Closet, Altered Esthetics, Minneapolis, MN

From Rich Tradition to Contemporary Art, Museum of Natural Dye Arts, Daegu, South Korea

In, On, Of Paper, Paper Circle, Nelsonville, OH

International Joomchi and Beyond, Warwick Museum of Art, Warwick, RI

Small Expressions, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA



22nd Annual Juried Show, Contemporary Arts Center, Las Vegas, NV

Joomchi, The Cheongju Korean Craft Museum, Seoul, South Korea

Merge and Flow, Katherine E Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN



Hands of Korea, Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Heyri Artists Community, Seoul, South Korea


Selected Grants and Awards

2013 Third-Place Prize, Fiberart International 2013, Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh,Pittsburgh, PA

2012, 2010 Mary Beasom Bishop and Francis Sumner Merit Scholarship, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME

2010 Collegiate Fellowship, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis, MN

2009 Merit Scholarship, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN


Website: www.juliesirek.com