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Julie Green, Virginia 31 July 1986

Julie Green, Virginia 31 July 1986 (1986), cobalt mineral paint on kiln-fired ceramics [The Art Gym, Marylhurst OR, Apr 16-May 17]

Julie Green: The Last Supper

The Art Gym
Marylhurst OR – Apr 16-May 17, 2013

Julie Green, Indiana 05 May 2007

Julie Green, Indiana 05 May 2007 (2007), cobalt mineral paint on kiln-fired ceramics [The Art Gym, Marylhurst OR, Apr 16-May 17]


Julie Green, Texas 30 March 2010

Julie Green, Texas 30 March 2010 (2010), cobalt mineral paint on kiln-fired ceramics [The Art Gym, Marylhurst OR, Apr 16-May 17]


Julie Green became interested in the final meal requests of inmates on death row during her years living in Oklahoma where she would read about it in the morning paper. Oklahoma is the state with the highest per capita death rate. The Corvallis, Oregon-based artist and professor began her Last Supper project over 10 years ago as a reflection on capital punishment and how these final meals humanize each individual inmate.

The ongoing project illustrates these personal meal requests for pizza, ice cream, donuts and Cherry Coke to justice, equality, and world peace with images and words painted in cobalt tones on second-hand dishes. Green uses mineral paints that are kiln fired to the dinnerware by her technical advisor Toni Acock. The large installation of 500 plates is haunting in its simple truism. For Green these requests provide clues on race, economic background, region and family history – like when the Indiana Department of Corrections stated about one inmate, “He told us he never had a birthday cake so we ordered a birthday cake for him.”

In Green’s work the irony of this final choice becomes a poignant meditation on the strange tradition of last meal requests, pointing to larger questions about the margin of error, the morality of capital punishment, and why, in some states, it has been abolished for years, where states like Texas still have high death rates. She plans to continue adding 50 plates a year until capital punishment is outlawed. Green has received national media attention for this heartfelt project; on April 11th she will be on the Colbert Report to talk about the Last Supper.

www.marylhurst.edu/arts-and-events/art-gym/index.html

Allyn Cantor


 Thu, Apr 4, 2013