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Artist Juliana Haliti

Updated: Feb 16

Juliana Haliti is a painter and sculptor who makes work reflecting upon the blind faith of their childhood—their unknowing participation in racist and unethical capitalist systems—drawing on an overwhelming sense of culpability and guilt, as well as what caused them to challenge these systems and their relationship to these things today. Their work has been exhibited locally and nationally including, 4 Elements Studio in Utica, NY, The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, NY, H Galleries in Ventura, CA, Tomato Mouse in Brooklyn, NY, MOZAIK Virtual Future Art Awards, DAB Art Co. in Los Angeles, CA, Saratoga Arts in Saratoga, NY, The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY, and The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.

They received their BFA from the College of Saint Rose, their MA in Studio Art from the University at Albany, and their MFA from the University at Albany. Haliti also served as art editor for the online publication, Barzakh magazine. Haliti currently serves as a NYSCA Regrant Panelist for Saratoga, Fulton, and Montgomery counties. They are also a 2023 Capital Walls muralist, in Albany, NY and a 2023 Troy Art Block artist in Troy, NY. Haliti is a founding member of The Box Party Collective.

"I grew up in an abusive and controlling environment in the era of mass consolidation of farming in America. The corporate overdevelopment of my hometown left me to surmise how the demand for animal-based products was being met all around me. My assemblages, collages, and prints are an amalgamation of imagery and material surrounding my struggle to understand a lifetime saturated with the normalization of racism, homophobia, lies, and abuse, as well as systemic manipulation by capitalist forces. Drawn to pattern, color, and shape, I abstract, obliterate, and highlight certain aspects of my original reference imagery. Dimensionality forms as I layer on mixed media, selected, and found objects. The act of collaging is a way to bring these forces together to attempt to grapple with, process, and unpack my particular upbringing and current relationship with them. My collages emerge from researching otherworldly visuals—the iconography of ecocide and oppression. My assemblages are products of this need to question and understand what these things look like and where I intersect with them. I collect objects like animal skin, bones, hair, fur, carcasses, and fragments of mechanical equipment, deliberately leaving my ethics in question, mirroring my own struggle of involvement and confusion. A parallel world emerges, revealing a safe space to question my complicity both past and present."

Tell us a little about yourself (where you are from) and your background in the arts.

I was born in Albany, NY and grew up in the area. I was always creating but never had any structure. I spent my childhood obsessively dissecting animation and video games. I was so interested in the materials used to make these things, like technicolor paint, and who these people were making them. I spent countless hours watching early Disney films mostly for the backgrounds, the small details that became lodged in my psyche.

I received my BFA from The College of Saint Rose - my time there was extremely formative. After school I moved to Italy to live and work for a few years, selling paintings mostly. When I came home I was totally lost without any community, and after almost a decade of working at several mind-numbing jobs, I pushed myself to go back to school, getting an MA and MFA back to back. This three year span changed everything for me, helping me understand how to have a sustainable practice. Feeling welcomed in a community of incredible artists and reinvigorating my understanding of the contemporary art world.

I have had the pleasure of being involved in the community the past few years in ways I never would have expected. Being an adjunct at the University at Albany allowed me to understand how important drawing is to my practice as well as how important teaching is. I have had the pleasure of serving as a NYSCA regrant panelist for the last few years, helping allocate funds to deserving individuals and organizations to bring public projects to fruition. I also am a muralist, having done three public works projects in 2023, all involving the community in beautiful ways. The community of artists within the muralist community feels like I found home.

What kind of work are you currently making?

The last year has really been about allowing myself to be a little more improvisational within my process. I am really interested in dissecting vanity, vanity as a commodity, vanity as silence, as oppression, among other approaches and where I intersect with that both past and present. I left my masters degree with an established multi step process to create an assemblage. I wanted to allow myself to pull from my research and materials in a more intuitive way. This feels risky since it took a lot to get me to that process based way of making, but I wanted to try and get out of the academic mindset temporarily and see what could come of it.

Now with my latest body created I want to combine what I am interested in within my freer approach while creating work in my process based manner and seeing what comes of it. I also am just touching upon creating minimalist work. I have gotten a lot of feedback on the power of the individual materials so I am making experimental work where I use very minimal amounts of material. Personal circumstances the last several years have brought out a completely unexpected extreme minimalist lifestyle and I see this inherently trickling into my work.

What is a day like in the studio for you?

I generally like to take photos of what I worked when I leave my studio to ruminate on what I may want to experiment with or do the next time I go. I enjoy working in the natural daylight so I like getting there by 10 am at the latest.

First, I turn my speakers on and generally have jazz or a podcast playing, lately it has been a lot of Sonny Clark, Wes Montgomery, and the Oscar Peterson Trio. I take some time with what I have to decide what to fabricate, sometimes I am super focused on making a component of a piece and other days its all experimental. The materials I work with are not forgiving, and figuring out how to adhere them, manipulate them, and work with them can take a lot of trial and error.

I usually end my day with a quick clean up, since while making I am discarding things all over the floor and tables.

What are you looking at right now and/or reading?

I've been in a rabbit hole of Arghavan Khosravi's work the last year while making work for my show. I had the pleasure of finally seeing it in person at their show in Newport, RI in January. There are multitudes of meaning and references which are stunning, and the way in which the materiality of the work is handled is what I am trying to incorporate into my own work. Khosravi's work forces the viewer to consider the work from different vantage points, offering delightful and powerful surprises when taken in.

The practices that float around a lot in my mind are those of Walter Peregoy, Simphiwe Ndzube, Frank Stella, Lamar Peterson, Pierre Huyghe, Maja Djordjevic, among others, and the work of artists in my local community. I just finished Britney Spears' book the woman within me, which was very heavy. I also just finished "Braiding Sweetgrass" by Robin Wall Kimmerer. I am currently reading "Selfie" by William Storr, which explains the evolution of vanity and self-obsession. I also just started "Puget Sound Whales For Sale" by Sandra Pollard. One book I always come back to as a bible of sorts is Beth Pickens "Your Art Will Save Your Life". I recommend reading it every few months to any working artist.

Lately I have been watching a lot of things from the late 90's and early 2000's, as a refresher of the aesthetic and limited technology at that time, and of course to indulge in nostalgia. I am trying to comb through the extensive conglomeration of media that I was subjected to growing up in hopes of some revelatory tidbits I can pull from.

Where can we find more of your work? (ex. website/insta/gallery/upcoming shows)

My most recent work can be seen at my current solo show at 4 Elements Studio in Utica, NY, which is up through March 22nd.

My Website is: and the best way to see what I am up to is on Instagram:

You can also check out what my collective is up to @_theboxparty_

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