Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Bender.
Julie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Long Beach State Graduate, BA in fine arts. I wanted to teach Art in HS so the curriculum was to take beginning classes in all the areas of art. (Printing, graphic design, jewelry, sculpture etc.). After college is substituted in schools but found I needed to grow up a little before I taught kids that were only a couple years younger than me. I started to work in a variety of jobs to pay for art materials. I became a Los Angeles City Firefighter after a few years. As time rolled on I get married and had four kids. Resigned from the fire department and volunteered in schools and Girl Scouts. One thing led to another and I was project manager/artist to many mosaic projects in schools and then business in San Pedro. When my last child left for college I focused on a particular wall that I had my eye on for a couple years. It was a target wall for taggers and swiftly painted over. Soon the paint was peeling off. I knocked on the three owner’s door and offered them my portfolio as a community artist. None could afford to pay for such a project so we started fundraising and asking for volunteers. Permits were bought and we are about 1 year into creating a beautiful mosaic that has touched many people.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The permit process was daunting. The mural ordinance of 2008 had to be amended for me by our areas councilman. That took 6 months. Building and safety had to have a permit and Cultural Affairs needed many tasked for their permit. Other than that the community has really come through for this mosaic to happen. Volunteers to make clay pieces, glaze them, donate tile, break tile, recolor tile, adhere the tile and grout it. People have offered fundraising opportunities also which relieves me of financial pressures so I can concentrate on the art and art process. The San Pedro community has been engaged all the way. It is really only happening because of the community.
Please tell us about Julie Bender Mosaics.
I’m not a company. I’m just one artist who likes to involve the creativity, time and muscle power of anyone who wants to help make the world a little more colorful.
- $220 per sq foot. If the design involves handmade tiles from clay.
- $75 per sq ft, broken tile design
- $100-$300 per sq ft hand painted tiles depending on the complexity of the design. painted
- Negotiation is in order for combination of styles in one piece.
- Website: JulieBenderMosaics.Com
- Email: JulieBenderMosaics@gmail.com
- Instagram: Julie.Bender.Mosaic