A set designer for over 20 years, Julie Skate opted for a change of careers, completing a Masters of Art and Culture Management, Masters of Art History and a post-grad in Indigenous partnerships, setting her off on a new path that would lead to the Canberra Glassworks. For Julie, part of the appeal of taking on the role of CEO at the Canberra Glassworks, a position she has been in for just over two years, “was very much the opportunity to walk outside my office and see artists work”. Julie is enjoying the challenge of building the profile of the Glassworks locally and internationally. “We were off the radar on the arts scene which was a problem when you have the quality of artists here”, she says, while she’s also keen to showcase the “extraordinary facility with amazing artists working here”.
“It’s a large part of my life but it’s about awareness and making people aware of what we’ve got here,” Julie says. As well as exhibitions and artists at work in the hot shop, there are opportunities for the public to learn and to create.
This is a 1963 Mitsubishi C-135 Pigeon named ‘Walter’. “He’s ugly. It’s funny because they did win a number of design awards over the years … it is also the opportunity to restore something that’s been loved once, unloved, and is going to be loved again.”
Pixie is a rescue Bengal and provides “great company, lots of fun”. “Everything I’ve ever had has been a rescue … I find it really odd when people go and buy a cat or dog when there are plenty that need homes.”
“I love going out to Bungendore, it’s such a cute little town. It’s a nice place to take people, I find, because they are surprised by it.” Julie is a particular fan of the Suki & Hugh Gallery ; “it has really nice exhibitions”.
Julie thinks this Ajax black steel Imperial bolt would’ve been from one of her dad’s first steel constructions in the 1960s. “It was where he found his forte of doing that type of work [building]”. “One of the [glassworks] artists thought enough of me to clean it up and bring it back for me.”