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High school senior finds art in everyday objects

SOLANA BEACH — Juliana Welch has established herself as one of the coast’s most promising, emerging artists. 
A senior at Canyon Crest Academy, she and Isa Beniston were recently commissioned to participate in a public arts program through Arts Alive on the Coastal Rail Trail.
“Juliana transformed a side of a utility box, painting surreal-looking animals in masks,” said Carol Beth Rodriguez, membership chair for the Solana Beach Art Association and a member of the city of Solana Beach’s Public Arts Advisory Commission. “The choice of palette and imagery integrate well with the trail’s motif. Juliana’s creative painting is a lovely addition to the public art on the Coastal Rail Trail.”
Juliana is the daughter of Diane Welch, whose monograph, “Lilian J. Rice: Architect of Rancho Santa Fe, California” (Schiffer, 2010) won the San Diego Book Awards this year in the biography category. Juliana contributed photos for the volume.
Diane Welch is also an artist, having earned a bachelor’s in fine art and a master’s in art education from the University of Leeds, England. She was Juliana’s first art instructor when her daughter entered Kumeyaay Elementary School in Tierra Santa several years ago.
“My mom would encourage the other students and me to step out of the box,” Juliana said. “She inspired us to be completely individualistic, and to take a chance. I’ve always been driven to speak up in general, and that has translated into a bold approach to art.”
Juliana continued art instruction as she matured, studying under Carmen Tepper at The Studio Academy in Sorrento Valley. Later she interned with international fashion and textile designer Zandra Rhodes, who has offices in London and Solana Beach.
“I’d help around the office,” Juliana said. “She’d ask me to draw sketches and be creative. She uses a lot of gold and patterns, which drove me to continue my art and develop practical uses for it as well.”
In addition, Juliana served as apprentice to artist/designer Jennifer Chapman.
“Juliana is a gifted artist, a great talent,” Chapman said. “Her style is reminiscent of (Jean-Baptiste-Camille) Corot, the great Impressionist painter and other Impressionist painters of the later 19th century. She can also mix it up and give her work a hip twist.”  
In 10th grade, Juliana was accepted into a Digital/Fine Arts Conservatory at Canyon Creek Academy where today she is a senior.
“It’s been a major part of my high school experience,” she said. “It’s a college-level course, with guest teachers, that has allowed me to explore different mediums including portraiture and figure drawing. I’ve benefitted from appearing in shows, and making screen prints to sell at the shows.”
Jessica Matthews is head of the program.
“Juliana is a fantastic illustrator,” she said. “She works well in mixed media and drawings and takes ideas in a very untraditional path. As a young artist she is already developing a style, which is rare.”
Currently, Juliana is applying to colleges with the goal of having a double major, fine arts and landscape architecture.
“I would love to be a landscape architect,” she said. “That would make good use of my mathematical and compositional skills, things that I love. I would also like to teach because it’s one of the best ways you can share your gift with others.”
Juliana’s work will be on exhibit at Envision’s Festival of the Arts, Canyon Crest Academy from 3 to 8 p.m. Dec. 10. For more information, visit
To view Juliana’s work visit