Bio / CV


Julie Upmeyer is an artist and initiator who creates sculptures and objects, performances and installations. Growing up amongst the recycled industrial materials of her mother’s non-profit organization, she developed a love for transforming materials of all sorts. In art school at Grand Valley State University she studied ceramics, sculpture, and graphic design. 

She has recently moved from Istanbul to Wales, where she will continue to create works that combines her many passions: layers and labor - - - dimensions and dedication to craft - - - systems, substances, and shiny things. Her work is often the direct result of her manipulation of a chosen material, other times she enjoys the challenge of responding to a specific space, place, or theme.

Her artworks, projects, and exhibitions have taken her all over the world. She is instinctively drawn to artist residencies – which to her are a perfect combination of production, surprise, and international connectedness. She co-founded Caravansarai, an art space and residency program in Istanbul and has had the pleasure of attending several different residencies as an artist. 

Portfolio (PDF download)

Formal Education

2003 - Bachelor of Fine Arts, Ceramics Emphasis, Cum Laude, 3.79 GPA, 
Grand Valley State University
, Allendale, MI, USA

Residencies and Workshops

2014 - Gyeonggi Creation Center, Sungam-do, Ansan-si, South Korea

2014 - Electro-etching Workshop, Gran Canaria, Spain

2012 - Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo, Japan

2011 - AIZ 11, Interdisciplinary art group SERDEAizpute, Latvia

2009 - FreeDimensional Emerging Art Space Support Initiative Toronto, Canada

2009 - Arts and Cultural Studies Laboratory Yerevan, Armenia

2007 - Meeting Point Gulpinar,  video workshop, Gulpinar, Turkey

2006 - Aden Art Center, Istanbul, Turkey

Initiated Projects

2007-14 - Caravansarai Art Space *
             initiator and co-director of independent, artist-run art and production space in Istanbul. We hosted and initiated workshops, performances, 
             a residency program, art production, collaborations, conferences, and other events and projects. 

2011-13 - Persembe Pazari Projects
             A series of artworks, exhibitions, performances, and investigations inspired by Persembe Pazari, the hardware district of Istanbul. 
             The final exhibition was composed of over 40 artworks by 12 local and international artists. 

2012-13 - Tan Han Art Teras (THAT) *
             A public exhibition space on the back wall of the Caravansarai Art Space, presenting new large-scale art works, 
             viewable only from the hardware mall below and the neighboring terrace of the prestigious SALT research space. 

2010-11 - CaravansarAID
             An artistic exploration of tokenism, nationalism, and diplomacy in the contemporary art world. A series of artworks and 
             performances exploring our position as Americans running an art space in Turkey, and the expectations created when invited to 
             present work outside of Turkey. 

2010 - Tea,Tavla and Tall Tales
             An investigation into the multiple histories of the Karakoy neighborhood of Istanbul. Commissioned artists created seven 
             site-specific artworks, incorporating various aspects of these histories into the renovation of the Caravansarai building. 

2007-9 - Virtual Chef 
             The Virtual Chef combines elements of an art opening, a dinner party and a performance. Connected through the internet, 
             participants in two locations simultaneously cook a dish, while exchanging information about the recipe, ingredients, 
             and anything else that comes to mind. 

* with Anne Weshinskey


2017 - in-finite, Operation Room, Istanbul, Turkey *

2017 - Floating Tactics after a Sunken Island, Daire SanatIstanbul, Turkey

2017 - Trans-ID, Serp Yerrotutyun Church, Istanbul, Turkey

2017 - Face Value - Material Mimicry, Space Debris, Istanbul, Turkey *

2016 - Contemporary Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

2016 - Art on a Card, CIRCUT, Istanbul, Turkey

2016 - The Metromorphic Varieties, TOZ artist run space, Istanbul, Turkey *

2016 - At Home and Further Afield, Rumsey Street Project, Grand Rapids, USA 

2016 - A CONCIOUS ISSUE, publication launch, Gallery Nectar, Tbilisi, Georgia

2016 - The Metromorphic Varieties, Pasaj, Istanbul, Turkey *

2015 - PyeongChang Biennale, PyeongChang, South Korea 

2014 - Living and Working in Flux, Gyeonggi Creation Center, Ansan-si, South Korea

2014 - Telephone, Satellite Collective, New York, USA

2013 - Layered Karaköy, BAUART, Istanbul, Turkey *

2013 - Hacked me in Intimacy, Ark Kültür, Istanbul, Turkey

2013 - Perşembe Pazarı Projects, Caravansarai, Istanbul, Turkey

2013 - Mamut Art Project, Antrepo No. 3, Istanbul, Turkey

2013 - Paslaşmalar Exhibition, Okan University, Istanbul, Turkey

2013 - Diligent DesiresHalka Art Project, Istanbul, Turkey

2012 - Sanatçı Dokumaları (Artists' Textiles), Atatürk Kültür Merkezi, İzmir, Turkey 
         (a project of the Baksı Museum)

2012 - Hovering between Yesterday and Tomorrow, Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo, Japan *

2012 - Water Tower Art Fest, Laboratory of the Bulgarian Rose, Sofia, Bulgaria

2012 - Perşembe Pazarı Projects PreviewCaravansarai, Istanbul, Turkey

2012 - 'Garden of the Ottoman Bank' TanHanArtTeras, Istanbul, Turkey

2012 - Eat Art, Museum Hartberg, Hartberg, Austria

2011 - AIZ 11 Exhibition, Aizpute City Festival, Aizpute, Latvia 

2011 - Supermarket Art Fair, Kulterhuset, Stockholm, Sweden 

2011 - Grand Valley State University, Art & Design Alumni Exhibition, Grand Rapids, MI, USA

2010 - Supermarket Art FairKulterhuset, Stockholm, Sweden 

2009 - Portable Art Exhibitions, as part of Istanbul Capitol of Culture 2010, Istanbul, Turkey 

2009 - Artprize 2009, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA 

2009 - Long Distance Call, Hotel Maria Kapel, Hoorn, The Netherlands 

2009 - Gender Trouble, Yerevan, Armenia 

2008 - Necessary Discourse on Hysteria, Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia

2008 - Galata Visibility Project, Galata Perform, Istanbul, Turkey

2008 - Sinopale, the Second Sinop Biennial, Sinop, Turkey

2008 - Fama_Fame / Fame_Hunger, Kunstlerhaus S11, Solothurn, Switzerland

2008 - Art is my Playground, Kücük Çiftlik Amusement Park, Istanbul, Turkey 

2008 - Tehran Biennial Hafriyat Karaköy, Istanbul, Turkey - Berlin, Belgrade

2008 - Love Difference PastriesCAMeC Modern/Contemporary Art Center, La Spezia, Italy

2007 - Hanging Around, Phoenex WEST, Dortmund, Germany

2006 - Art for an Opening, Bin Bavul (1000 Suitcases), Istanbul, Turkey *

2005 - The Mouse, Global Arts Village, New Delhi, India

2003 - Visceral Consumption, Delta Properties Warehouse, Grand Rapids, MI, USA

2003 - Paper/Plastic, Free Radical Gallery Site, Grand Rapids, MI, USA *

2002 - Hawke Lays an Egg, Lo-Fi Project Space, Grand Rapids, MI, USA 

2002 - He Said, She Said...Is anyone Listening?, C-Pop Gallery, Detroit, MI, USA

2002 - Kaboom, Museum of New Art, Detroit, MI, USA

* solo shows

Arts Consultancy / Administration

2005/12  - Res Artis, worldwide network of artist residencies
             website editor, communications, content development, special projects 

2006 - Apothiki Art Center, Paros/Athens, Greece
             artist residency consultant, residency program development 

2006 - Cyril Lixemberg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
             documented the extensive Dutch print collection of Cyril Lixemberg 

2005 - UfaFabrik International Culture Center, Berlin, Germany
             Res Artis conference coordinator and documentor, conference book editor 

2005 - re:mix Festival
             Spinning Gear Productions (co-owner of company)
             Development/ initiation of an international Red Bull nomadic fusion arts and music festival 

2005 - Global Arts Village, New Delhi, India
             international residency coordinator, program developer and manager 

2004 - Artrain USA, Allesee Fellow, throughout the USA
             art museum inside a train – traveling tour staff member, gift shop manager, demonstrating artist, press spokesperson 

2003 - Camp Kippewa for Girls, Monmouth, USA
             art department head, supervised 14 staff members who instructed 120 children, managed classes/studios, produced publications/exhibitions 

1995-2003 - Arts & Scraps, Detroit, USA
             arts instructor, volunteer, graphic designer 

2002 - Detroit Science Center Detroit, USA
             exhibit designer and fabricator

1999-2002 - Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI, USA
             Ceramics Studio Assistant

2000 - EA Graphics, Sterling Heights, MI, USA
             Graphic Designer

1996-98 - Children's Museum of Detroit, Detroit, MI, USA
             Arts Instructor

Related Skills

clear English content development, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Word, Excel, spreadsheet, database, basic html, multiple CMS systems, digital and manual photography, basic sound and camera systems, internet promotions, networking, streaming media, web-based communications, social media

Woodworking tools, power tools, all ceramics-related skills, basic metal fabrication, mold-making, casing, woodworking, multiple hanging systems, exhibition design, framing, matting, use-what-you-have problem solving and building

Honors / Awards / Grants

2009 - Distinguished Alumni of the Year, Art and Design Department, Grand Valley State University 
2009 - Step Beyond Travel Grant from the 
European Cultural Foundation to Yerevan, Armenia 
2007 - Step Beyond Travel Grant from the European Cultural Foundation to Targu Mures, Romania 
2003 - Glen Niemeyer Award for Academic Excellence, Grand Valley State University
             1/2 awards campus-wide; academic achievement/community service; highest award for graduates 
2002 - Grand Valley State University Female Athlete of the Year
             given to one female athlete per year with high academic and athletic accomplishments 
2002 - Post-Graduate Scholarship, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
             1/17 awards student athletes nation-wide, academic/athletic achievement, service
1999-2002 - Dean's List, Grand Valley State University
             3.5 grade point or higher 10/10 semesters


© Julie Upmeyer 2016