JULIA JAAKOLA, watercolor artist, paints landscapes in an impressionistic style. She studied art at the Academy of Art University, in San Francisco, CA, receiving a BFA in Illustration in 1989. She moved back to Minnesota and worked advocating for Earth’s natural ecosystems for Clean Water Action. In 1999, she had a calling to teach in effort to help create stewards of the earth. She earned a BS in Education from Bemidji State University. She has enjoyed teaching for 15 years in all subjects including Visual Arts, in grades 1-12. She states, "In 2014, I met a brilliant artist who introduced me to painting ‘en plein air.’ After class, I found a video of a plein air event. I was so happy to see people as invested in art and nature as I. One year later, I painted in my first plein air event and I was completely transformed spiritually. Painting on location elevates my sensitivity to create expressive works by allowing my hand to flow with the messages a place has to tell.” In her studio, she creates mixed media works further raising questions about the human connection to the earth, in a metaphoric perspective.