Sticker Book is a series of exuberant wall-mounted and suspended site-specific arrangements in wood, clay, paper, and paint transforming the 4000 square-foot Ahha Main Gallery. Within each vignette, from its individual parts to its whole, Julie Alpert evokes nostalgic memories of her 1980s suburban-Maryland girlhood. Each arrangement is reminiscent of the spaces she grew up in and the private act of collecting and arranging stickers, magazine cutouts, and ceramic trinkets so emblematic of her childhood. Colors, textures and imagined sounds and smells of these pastimes are embodied in her contemporary interpretations of the memories. The repetition of symbols like hearts, eyes, bows and drips link these memories to today’s language of social media and reference the repetition we all experience in our daily routines. With a background in theater, dance, film and painting, Julie borrows visual tricks from each discipline to make the static work feel as though it could crawl off the wall and come to life at any moment.
Julie Alpert makes temporary theatrical site-specific installations using everyday arts and crafts supplies and modified found-objects. In a single three-dimensional scene akin to a stage set, she explores universal themes of the human experience like her 1980s suburban girlhood, the thrill of anticipation, the distance between our realities and expectations, the monotony and comfort of daily routine, and the nostalgia we imbue our collectibles with. In order to intimately engage viewers, Julie uses unpretentious materials, visual tricks, dramatic shadows, bright colors, recognizable symbols, and hand drawn doodles.
Installation view. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Julie working on two 8×8-foot paper collages in her studio for Sticker Book. Photo by Andy Arkley.