Born in the mid 1960’s in southern Louisiana, Julie Siracusa discovered at an early age to express herself through art. Siracusa knew she was an artist as long as she can remember…creative expression is not just a desire…it’s her way of life.
Because of Siracusa’s interests, college brought the study of architecture and fine art at the University of Southwest Louisiana in Lafayette, LA. This gave her the education and tools that paved the way for her to pursue any creative path.
After college, Siracusa worked as a graphic designer where she took on freelance projects and began to establish a client base. In 1996 she started Siracusa Design and specialized in branding companies with strong images that anchor them well in the business community to this day.
Now, Siracusa is dedicated to her true passion for our oceans, our coral reefs, and our sea creatures. She expresses this through her Ocean Alive and Vitamin Sea series.
In May of 2020, Siracusa discovered No Shoes Reefs, created by Kenny Chesney, to raise awareness and support for our ocean habitat. She recognized instantly that she wanted to partner with the group. She became their artist partner creating original art and graphics that have been donated to help raise awareness and funds. These projects included creations for marine laboratories, Coastal Conservation Association and graphics for No Shoes Reefs partners. A percentage of the sales of this merchandise goes to Reef Ball Foundation and Reef Innovations that coordinate with agencies around the world to rebuild diminishing reef systems. Siracusa has noted that her work with No Shoes Reefs has energized her creativity and has even created an evolution in her work.
At the end of 2022, Kenny stepped away from No Shoes Reefs to focus on other projects. Siracusa continues her partnerships with Reef Ball Foundation and Reef Innovations, as well as other organizations that focus on coastal restoration.
Why is it so important to continue this work? Our coral reefs are dying. Stoney Coral Tissue Disease is killing 98% of the coral reefs it encounters. While coral reefs only cover 5% of our planet, they provide 50% of our oxygen.
There is hope, marine biologists have discovered that they can grow coral in labs and in open waters. Manmade reefs create locations for the coral to be out planted. Over time, the coral grows and sea creatures return and make this their home. Within a few years the manmade structure cannot be seen through the coral.
Siracusa donates 10% of sales to coral reef restoration. Her mission is to create art with purpose that educates and makes a real difference for all of us.
When you meet Julie Siracusa, you will see her genuine kindness to those she encounters, as well as her passion for creating high quality art.
Who makes up your art circle?
My art circle has expanded beautifully in the last year and a half. I joined the Haus of Impact in January of 2022. The Haus is a marketing and business group led by the amazing Debbie White. The majority of the group are artists. We are close and connected on our journeys. Debbie has guided me to having a brand with true clarity.
Because of being a member of the Haus, I met Liz Nicklas, a mindset coach. Many of my Haus sistas have joined Liz’s group and raved about the growth they’ve experienced. I joined last September. This is another group with many artists. Together, we study the science of our brains and how our thoughts create our lives. This group is called RISE. Here, we learn that everything is possible.
How do you expand your art circle?
At the end of 2022, I became curious about what was going on in Lounge Gallery. Located next to Tsunami and behind The Lounge in downtown Lafayette. It was in February of this year that I decided to reach out to my friend, Tara Baudoin, who once had access to the gallery. She reached out to Tsunami’s management about me showing in the gallery. Within a week, my art filled Lounge Gallery. Through social media, I’ve connected with many local art enthusiasts, and we’ve met at Artwalk. My solo show is ongoing, and I welcome guests each month for Artwalk.
During Festival International, I met Kyle Choate, in Lounge Gallery. He told me about BARE Walls Lafayette. Within a few weeks I became a member of the group. I am honored to have my original works in the rental rotation of BARE Walls Lafayette. It is such a wonderful experience to reach more members of our community with my art with purpose.
What value do you see in having a creative community?
There is so much growth in a creative community. We inspire one another to take action and make decisions that build connections. We share our experiences with each other that can instill belief that everything is possible. My creative community is one of immense talent and so much love. We meet in groups multiple times a week and one-on-one when we have something specific to share. We have a space that is free from competition, it is all a giving environment.
How does your artistic approach contribute to your community?
My artistic approach came about organically. I was painting our oceans and was quite passionate about my work. In April of 2020, I discovered No Shoes Reefs, a group created by Kenny Chesney. No Shoes Reefs’ mission was to raise awareness and funds to conserve and rebuild our dying coral reefs. I reached out and became the artist partner with the group. My contribution was to create graphics and art to further the mission. Over time, I learned so much about our coral reefs, Stoney Coral Tissue Disease, and our sea creatures. I then began painting our sea creatures and learning more and more about each one and its integral role in the reef’s ecosystem.
Our coral reefs cover less than 5% of our planet while providing 50% of our oxygen. Healthy coral reefs are vital to our global community.
I now donate 10% of sales of my Ocean Alive and Vitamin Sea series to rebuilding our coral reefs. Art with purpose. We can make a difference together.
Our weekly Art Circle series profiles artists throughout the community and is sponsored in part by Lafayette Visitor Enterprise Fund managed by Lafayette Travel