By Jay Pham
It was Julie McGrath’s second solo show, yet she entertained guests like she’s been hosting for ages.
Her art is mainly fashion inspired with her own twist. “All of my art is off the runway. They’re all very specific from designers that are current,” McGrath said.
McGrath had a reception for her art exhibit “The Fine Lines of Fashion” at the Artel Gallery in downtown Pensacola December 7. She had several dozen works displayed at the gallery, all of which were fashion illustration. “I always really loved fashion, so it’s kind of been an ongoing thing my whole life.”
The art gallery hosted artists, art lovers from the community, as well as students from Pensacola State College.
Sarah Goolsby, a Graphic Design major, heard about the event through flyers at the school. Her favorite piece was Gucci #3. “I really enjoyed the cool and warm color that she uses with it, and the stylization of her images are just very powerful, and I really love the hair on this one, too.”
Out of the several dozen art pieces on display, McGrath had favorites of her own. “I really like Dior Through The Ages. I really like the Gucci ones [as well].”
Kaitlyn Bailey, also a Graphic Design major, came to the gallery to show support for her teacher turned friend. “It is so fun and unique, so colorful, I love it because it’s so surreal. Even though it’s fashion, it’s real life. She puts a fantasy twist on it by how she draws her people, and I love it.”
Alex Durden, a first-year photography major, gravitated towards McGrath’s Giambattista Valli. “She made the unique design work really well.”
McGrath received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History at the University of Massachusetts and went on to get two Masters degrees at Savannah College of Art & Design—Illustration Design and Art Administration.
She teaches History of Graphic Design and Art Humanities at PSC and is also an artist at First City Arts Center.
“I want people to be happy. People usually look at it and get a kick out of it, or they like it—just positive responses,” McGrath said.
“Students should know that they can do whatever they want to do because usually, they think they have to do something within the lines. I had a really hard time trying to fit that very specific mold.”
McGrath is described by her peers and students as creative, underrated, and approachable.
“I came here out of support [for McGrath], she’s my favorite person,” Bailey said. “She is totally underrated and should be exposed to the world.”
McGrath’s work will be displayed in the Vault until January 6, 2018. Artel Gallery is located at 223 Palafox Street and opens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays. The gallery is closed on Sundays and Mondays.