Julia Aurora Travers likes to mix it up. Her creative talent and social concerns combine in various venues—as artist, designer, writer and teacher. A native of Hampton, Virginia, Travers now lives in Charlottesville where she teaches preK classes and designs locally as well as a volunteer for CitySquare, an anti-poverty, non-profit in Dallas, Texas. She recently completed a graphic design internship with The Atlantic Post, an international online news journal. She and her husband, Jeff, have co-written and illustrated a new children’s book, Sylvie and Foster.
Travers’ community art efforts span from an elementary school project that benefitted a homeless shelter, to a Charlottesville workshop for Abundant Life Ministries in which participants drew people in their lives whom they loved and considered to be great as super heroes. She’s also taught high schoolers fashion design and volunteered with The Bridge PAI’s summer Fun Bus project with local youth. She’s presently leading her pre-K students in studies of insects and their habitats.
“I see my work as a means of communication with myself and others,” says Travers. She studied Graphic Design at Piedmont Virginia Community College. She earned her BA in Literary and Cultural Studies from William and Mary, and a BFA in Art Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She especially admired the work of artist Ryan Mulligan, a fellow student at VCU and now assistant professor of art at the University of Cincinnati.
Travers works in many mediums, from watercolors to mixed media on wood. “I learn through experimentation, playing in multiple mediums,” she says.
“I sometimes experiment combining verbal and visual communication by creating works inspired by or including a single word or line of writing, like I’ll Let You Know. The strong young people I have taught are my inspiration for this piece.“
Travers’ work also explores playful and romantic themes along with those of loss, loneliness and intimacy.
She credits the influence of many artists, particularly Chagall, Rothke and Alison Saar, an American whose work explores themes of African cultural diaspora and spirituality.
A Kid, in mixed media, is the featured image for this blog. Enjoy more of Travers’ varied work on her website jtravers.journoportfolio.com.
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