Julie Poitras Santos headshot

Julie Poitras Santos

Director of Exhibitions, Assistant Professor of MFA in Studio Art

Dept. : Academic Studies, MFA

“I want students to have the widest possible resources available to them as they ask questions, collaborate, research and develop their work. I use student‐ centered and dialogue‐based teaching methods to create an atmosphere of engagement, responsibility and possibility in my classes and cultivate ways to facilitate excitement and curiosity. I enjoy supporting students in their artistic development, inspiring them to take risks, investigate hunches, deepen research and refine technique. Students frequently tell me they feel excited to get back to the studio after class or meetings; I send them off with new questions and avenues to investigate.”

Julie Poitras Santos’ expanded creative practice comprises video, installation, performance and site-specific public projects that include a walking component. Also a writer, she studies areas where art and language intersect. The relationship between site, story and mobility fuels a wide range of research and production, including the relationship between natural histories, myth and individual story; walking as a form of listening to site; and material agency in an age of climate change. She has taught sculpture at Bowdoin College, the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. She lived in Barcelona, Spain, for three years (2004‐2007) and worked as the artistic director of the art residency program Can Serrat, in Montserrat National Park. Poitras Santos has a BS from Tufts University in Geology and English and earned her MFA at the University of Colorado. She also has an MFA in poetry from the Stonecoast Creative Writing Program at the University of Southern Maine.


  • Inter Arts Center Residency in 2018 at Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
  • 2016 Kindling Fund grant, Warhol Regional Regranting, Space Gallery for creating
  • PLATFORM PROJECTS/WALKS, a two-week public project investigating walking,
  • 2015 Creative Capital “On Our Radar” online citation for ROPE/WALK community project / installation as part of Portland citydrift
  • NES Artists Residency in Skagastrond, Iceland
  • Maine Arts Commission Good Idea Grant recipient
  • Work exhibited in Reykjanesbaer Art Museum in Iceland and at the Centre for Contemporary  Culture in Barcelona, Spain


Julie has practiced the martial art of Aikido since 1991. She has traveled widely, including Spain, France, Iceland, India, Nepal, and Morocco and speaks Spanish, French and some Nepali.

Julie’s Website