JBR Stories


Julia Rubin came to NYC as a theatrical lighting designer, and she brings that sensibility to her collages. Light and shadow, when consistent, allow one’s mind to accept a scene as real, so the viewer doesn’t wonder if everyone and everything are there, but why. The answer becomes a story.

When she was in high school she wanted to be a traveling storyteller. Stories came to her in images, and images inspired stories. The merging of image and story underlies her style of collage.

Using scissors and glue and a focus on texture and light, she moves mountains, diverts rivers, reconfigures rooms, so that even the backgrounds for the scenes are her creation.

Beyond cohesion, lighting creates a mood, an atmosphere, which engages the viewers, connecting them to the scene, to the artist, and through the story they see, to themselves.


Reduce, Reuse, Make Art


Julia Rubin’s focus on reuse in the arts dates back to 1989 when she produced and moderated a seminar titled “Recycling in the Theatre”. From 1989 to 2007 she coordinated the Set Recycling Hotline, which came out of that seminar.

The images in her collages were cut from magazines and brochures left in her building’s recycling basket. The collages are mounted on repurposed materials such as cardboard and matboard.


A number of the mountings are themselves collaged, some with magazine images, others with tea or wine tinted tea bags.