Julia Alcantara is an artist in the Renaissance sense.  Her art permeates every facet of her life and spans many realms of creative expression, but has always been centered around the figure.  First drawn to the dramatic and expressive power of the human form, her mysterious images have been awarded extensively including national recognition in her study of art history. While living in Dallas, Texas, an introduction to the hypnotic rhythms and dance of West Africa brought a new interest in movement and meditation to her work, but also initiated  a spiritual journey into the healing state of mind invoked by the power of music and dance.  Concurrently, Julia was drawn into the art of life modeling, a career that would span the next seven years of her life.  Not only did she witness a growing awareness of her own body, which aided her study of the figure tremendously, but she constantly observed the work and lectures of hundreds of students, professional artists and professors.  However, the most important influence on her figurative studies was a collegiate encounter.

 

   Her freshman year Ms. Alcantara began immediately working from the live model under the instruction of Jim Stover, a master of figurative grace through lyrical abstraction.  He was adamant about gesture drawing and relentlessly emphasized the importance of forging her work with the energy of human existence.  In the first marks on the page lies the soul, the essence of the image.  Emotional content had always been instilled in her work, but now she was empowered with the fluidity and intensity which moves her viewers to experience the spiritual inspiration guiding the creation of her art.
 
   During these early years of college Julia studied percussion and music theory outside of her degree requirements, while being drawn by other artists heightened her body's capabilities of transmitting moods and emotion through gestures and movement. Her interests took a major turn when she encountered Flamenco.  From the gypsies of southern Spain came an art form with the riveting percussion of Africa, contrasted with the graceful beauty and drama of her paintings.  Flamenco enabled her to combine all her interests, which include fashion design and manufacture, into collaborative improvisational happenings enriched by her developing background in transcendental states of consciousness.  The last five years of obtaining her double major in Art History and Studio, Julia studied the dance extensively at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where she achieved professional status, after touring nationally with a company from New York.

   Research in her art history classes enabled in depth reading and exploration of altered states of consciousness and methods of using the arts to achieve spiritual clarity and healing.  She was fascinated by the ritual practices of the Pre-Columbian tribes of Meso and South America, but she studies even more extensively the Minoan society of Pre-Grecian Crete.

   As the theme of her past work was revealed to her; Flamenco broke new ground in figurative line, African continued to provide exploration of her own soul, while her studies of ritual trances honed her paintings into a precise and powerful theme that connects all humans as emotional and spiritual beings.  Raw passion and dynamic movement  are sculpted with rich color into moments of visual Nirvana, by an artist unique in her desire to bring images of beauty and concept. to her audience.

   Viewers around the country speak of enlightenment and hours of joyful meditation in response to Ms. Alcantara's works representing a harmonious higher consciousness and the perfect balance of passion and discipline, power and grace, male and female, the terrestrial and spiritual worlds.
 

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