B.A., Carleton College
M.A., Indiana University
Ph.D., University of Iowa
Specialization: Pacific Art - Asmat
Photo above: Bishop Aloysius Murwito and Julie Risser in Ayam. Photo by Sylvester Sem, September 2009
Julie Risser’s research focuses on contemporary Asmat art and culture. She travelled to Asmat during 2009 for a six-week period. The trip coincided with the annual Asmat cultural festival or Pesta Budaya Asmat. It included trips to Sawa, Ayam, and Yamas-Yeni. In 2010 she returned as part of an international consulting team to generate concepts for a new museum to house the objects currently in the Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress. Risser will return to Asmat in 2011 to continue work on the museum project and attend the Pesta Budaya in October.
While Asmat culture remained isolated from the rest of the world until the 20th century, today art produced in the Asmat region reflects a multi-cultural context. Influence from other parts of Indonesia as well as from Christianity and Islam can be seen in sculptural and fiber forms. In 2009, contributions from the annual University of St. Thomas fundraiser made it possible for Risser to acquire a woven shield by the artist Josita Kayoa.
Risser is pursuing a certificate in Collection Care from the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies in Mount Carroll, Il.
Africa and Pacific rooms, The Art Museum, Phaidon, 2011.
Challenges and Opportunities for Fiber Artists in Asmat, Papua, Indonesia, Luann Dummer Center for Women, April 1, 2011
Issues Surrounding Museum Website Development – The American Museum of Asmat Art at the University of St. Thomas, Pacific Arts Association Session, College Art Association Conference, New York, NY, February 11, 2011
Asmat Art Journey: from Agats to the MIA, Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA), May 21, 2009
Selected Grants and Awards
Sapientia Award, for an outstanding piece of work that has as its subject or focus a woman or women, or a concern related to women, University of St. Thomas, 2011.
Sudden Opportunities Grant, Community-Focused Museum Planning – Options for the New Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress, Agats, Papua, Indonesia, Summer 2010.
NEH Scholarship to offset costs for Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery course, June 2010.
Environmental Stewardship Award, College of Arts and Sciences, University of St. Thomas, 2010.
NEH Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions award for Climate Monitoring and Climate Improvement for Short-term and Long-term Preservation Needs project for the AMAA @ UST, December 2009-December 2010.
NEH Scholarship, 2008 to at the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation, Mount Carroll June 2008.
Chair of the UST Sacred Arts Festival, 2010-present.
Member, Internationalization of Campus Committee.
Commissioner, Edina Energy and Environment Commission 2007 - present. Chair, Air Quality Working Group.