Julia C R Gray

Julia C R Gray Artist Biography

Julia C R Gray, is a native California artist who sculpts ceramic torsos with rich layers of form, texture and painted narrative imagery. She worked as a representational painter from 1980 to 2010, creating murals and oil paintings, until she returned to university to study sculpture. She completed a BFA with Honors, in 2014, from San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). Gray studied abroad in Argentina, through SFAI. She has been awarded scholarships and art grants from SFAI and Davis Projects for Peace for art and environmental work in Bali, Indonesia.

Gray’s artwork is featured on the cover of Modified: Living as a Cyborg and published in the Biotechnology book: The Posthuman Condition: Ethics, Aesthetics & Politics of Biotechnological Challenges. Selected art exhibitions include The California Clay Competition, Davis, CA, Oceanside Museum of Art, CA, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, CA, The American Museum of Ceramics, Pomona, CA, CSU Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles, CA, The Atheneum Arts and Music Library, La Jolla, CA, and the Women’s Museum of California, San Diego, CA. Gray partnered with San Diego River Park Foundation to create a Public Art mural depicting the river and its native animal species.

Julia C R Gray works from her home studio in Cardiff by the Sea, California. Her daily art practice includes photographing sunrise beach walks and bringing revelations from her ritual into the ceramic studio.


I choose the female torso as a consistent form to communicate about contemporary life. I sculpt using slip-casting and hand-building methods in my home ceramic studio. My sculpture series—SHE Sea Wisdom and Coral Reef SHE-Shell—feature glossy female torsos with deeply textured coral-inspired shapes that I attach to the body and base. The clay sculptures are bisque-fired, and then glaze-fired multiple times to create varied glazed surfaces. I enhance small details with opalescent and real 18-karat gold luster glazes in the final firing.

I create artwork to illuminate matters that are important to me. The health of our planet is at the top of my list. Humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. If I could stare long enough at the perfect spiral of a shell, I might merge with the consciousness that created that golden ratio. This connection has always felt mysterious to me. I hope viewers and collectors will also be touched by the mystery I feel. 

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