Juliet Shen grew up in New York city and has lived in Seattle, Washington since 1983.
After a 35-year career in design, she resumed drawing and painting, her original passion. Starting in the summer of 2012, she began making drawings en plein air, in Seattle’s industrial Duwamish waterway and in the Union Bay Natural Area, a reclaimed wetlands on top of an old waste dump. When inclement weather finally forced a retreat indoors to the studio, she began creating drawings combined with relief printing, based on her observations of the shifting Northwest landscape and her experiences as part of the Duwamish Residency. The studio work included collage, with pieces of repurposed prints or drawings often forming the starting point for a new work. The resulting works on paper often had a painterly surface.
In May, 2015 Juliet was granted a 4-week artist residency at Willapa Bay AiR. There she completed a suite of watercolor and mixed media paintings that formed the core of her first major solo exhibition in October, 2015, presented by Cullom Gallery at Studio e gallery in Seattle. In 2015 she also received a support grant from workingartist.org.
2016 and 2017 have been a time for further developing her color paintings. She has been at work on paintings that pay homage to the Chinese landscape tradition with a contemporary approach [Borderline], and on a series of paintings [Hyporheos] influenced by environmental news in the Pacific Northwest. Her work is always infused with a sense of place, recognizable or fantastical. A month spent in Greece in 2016 resulted in the Aegean Series, a departure from her Pacific Northwest color palette.
For 2018 Juliet has been awarded a residency fellowship at Vermont Studio Center. The Urban Hardwoods showroom in Seattle is showing her most recent work on an ongoing basis. Juliet's work has been collected by the Tacoma Art Museum and the City of Seattle.
Juliet is also a typeface designer, with a masters degree in typeface design from the University of Reading, England. She taught typography at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle from 1999 to 2015. She has been a presenter at TypeCon and ATypI conferences in the U.S., Europe and Mexico, and curated the Type Americana syposiums presented by the School of Visual Concepts in 2010 and 2012. Her work includes an early-learning typeface for Oxford University Press; a font for Lushootseed, the endangered indigenous language of Puget Sound; and a multi script Latin/Arabic font in collaboration with Mamoun Sakkal. Her undergraduate work was completed at Sarah Lawrence College and The Cooper Union School of Art, both in New York. She ran an independent graphic design firm in Seattle from 1989–2012.
Research and Writing
For a list of publications authored by Juliet, see the Typography section of this website.