Monday, August 20, 2012

Julie Mackie Memorial Fund Created - Remembrance Planned

On Saturday, Sept 1st, the Santa Cruz Mountain Art Center, and the Valley
Women’s Club will host a community celebration of the life and passion of recently departed local activist and artist Julie Mackie.  The potluck event will begin at 6pm. at the Art Center on Mill St. in Ben Lomond.

Julie passed away on July 22nd at UCSF after a 16 month heroic duel with Lymphoma.  She was 68.

Her life partner of 42 years, former 5th District County Supervisor (1980-88) Joe Cucchiara was close at her side throughout the entire time.  She leaves two sons, Damian Taylor of Berkeley and Joshua Tallis of Felton and their families, including three grandchildren.

Julie and Joe set up their San Lorenzo Valley family residence in 1972 and raised their children through high school and beyond in the Valley. Both were lifetime and originating members of the Valley Women’s Club, and in the early days,  Julie worked on the first phone tree which was the Club’s singular method of communications among the members. This phone tree also developed into the first disaster alert network for SLV. Both Julie and Joe helped to set up and operate the first recycling efforts in SLV.  Julie organized and worked the food co-ops and Community Gardens at Highlands Park and spearheaded the Hwy 9 Safety Campaign which was launched with a march from downtown Ben Lomond to Highlands Park to publicize traffic safety.

Julie was instrumental in organizing the Redwood Mountain Faire in the 70’s. She was the VWC liaison to the local arts community for many years and was instrumental in bringing juried art exhibits to the mansion at Highlands Park.  She was among the original founders of the Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center.  Her art work was her passion and she is well known for her work in ceramics. Although gifted in all forms of art – painting, drawing, charcoal, paper maiche, and batik - her 10 year focus on ceramic sculpture created a lasting legacy.

Two 7-foot ceramic women come to life in her home next to several 5-footers
scattered about the rooms and gardens.  Her hand nurtured 1 acre art-garden
is full of ceramic figures lounging around the lush greenery where her work in
the soil conjugates with the clay.  Her food-art began as a teen studying at the
Cordon Blue in France, maturing into a superb cook for family and friends and contributing her famous deviled eggs to many a VWC potluck.

Local residents and friends are encouraged to bring their memories, photos and as well as pieces of Julie's work to the gathering.  (If you have any of Julie’s artwork you would like to display for the evening, please contact: Linda Levy 831.426.4906 to make arrangements.)

Donations are being accepted in Julie's name to be used for art scholarships, public installation of Julie’s art, and a permanent memorial site.  They can be made online at a special website created in her honor:  or checks to the  "Julie Mackie Memorial Fund"  can be mailed to P.O. Box 128, Brookdale, CA 95007-0128.

You can also leave remembrances and find out more about Julie at the website or on a Facebook page:

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