Artist Spotlight: Julie Gautier-Downes

Persistence has always been a quality among artists. In spite of adversity, opposition, and limited resources, artists have remained persistent in their work, creativity, and innovation. Bravery, patience, stamina, pluck – the act of persistence looks different for every individual but remains essential throughout the journey of any artist.

Persistence: What does persistence mean to an artist? What do they need to be able to persist? What level of support meets those needs? Those are the questions we’re asking Artist Trust artists throughout our fall campaign.

We spoke with Julie Gautier-Downes, a visual artist, and a 2016 GAP recipient about her path with Artist Trust, and what persistence looks like for her.


“I first found out about Artist Trust from someone who was hired by Artist Trust to help artists in Eastern Washington with professional development and grant opportunities, Anne-Claire Mitchell. She suggested I apply for a GAP grant.

As I was new to Spokane and had only been out of grad school for a couple years, Artist Trust gave me the confidence and financial boost to put my art first, something that I had not been able to prioritize since finishing school.

Persistence means a personal commitment to doing the work to push your practice forward and experiment with new ideas, even when you have a million reasons to throw in the towel. To persist in my practice, I need money, time, deadlines, and a supportive community. Artists, like me, need professional development, financial support, and access to creative spaces in order to visualize, conceptualize, strategize, and realize their creative pursuits.

In the future, I hope there continues to be affordable workspaces and housing. Having worked with a number of nonprofits since moving to Washington, access to affordable homes and workspaces fundamental in artists’ ability to make work. Your support of Artist Trust makes it possible for artists of all walks of life to attain game-changing funding and recognition.


Where can you see Julie’s work next?

“I am the Executive Director of the Richmond Art Collective. We host a number of events in our gallery and studios. Our website is: www.richmondartcollective.org

Julie Gautier-Downes was born in San Diego and relocated to New York City in 2001, prompting her bi-coastal identity and interest in perceptions of home. In 2011, Gautier-Downes received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2014. In 2015, Gautier-Downes was an Artist in Residence at the Vermont Studio Center and won Best In Show for her installation in Guess You Had To Be There at the Peoria Gateway Building. In 2016, she won Best Still Life in the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts’ 2016 International Photography Competition and was awarded a Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) 2016 Grant from Artist Trust. She has exhibited her work in solo and group shows across the United States and Europe. In 2017, she was an Artist in Residence at the Richmond Art Collective, AIR Studio Paducah, and the Vermont Studio Center. In 2018, Gautier-Downes was an Artist in Residence at Laboratory Spokane. She is currently based in Spokane, Washington where she is the Executive Director of the Richmond Art Collective.