Artist Julia Bottoms Designs 2021 Coltrane Celebration Artwork

By Nick Householder

This year’s artwork for the annual John Coltrane celebration, co-presented by the Burchfield Penney Art Center and Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective, was designed by artist Julia Bottoms. Her rendering of the iconic saxophonist is featured in all promotional branding including a commemorative poster, the fourth in the award-winning series. She now joins the ranks of artists Philip Burke, Stacey Robinson and Edreys Wajed in the Coltrane collection.

A SUNY Buffalo State graduate, her portraiture work seeks to explore themes of race, identity, and representation among people of color. Often reimagining portrayals of Black men to emphasize vulnerability, sensitivity, and complex emotional expressions, Julia’s accomplishments are wide ranging. Her portraits have been featured in exhibitions, including Contemporary Portraiture at the Burchfield Penney. You can explore her outdoor imagination in several public art projects including the Albright-Knox’s The Freedom Wall, East Delavan Library Project and ArtWorksCincinnati Mural Project. Her artwork can also be seen on walls in two seasons of the highly rated HBO  Insecure series.

the 2021 Coltrane Celebration Poster by Julia Bottoms


When discussing her artistry, Bottoms stated, “The goal now is more along the lines of shining a spotlight on people of color and telling the truth about who we are.”

“It’s an honor to have Julia’s creative brilliance color what has grown to be a highly popular, much-anticipated poster series collected by art and jazz enthusiasts,” said Renata Toney, Burchfield Penney marketing communications manager. “We thank Leah Hamilton founder of Happi’s Place and Associate Publisher of The Challenger News for her ongoing guidance and expansive network in sourcing talented artists for this project.”

Coltrane 2021 limited edition posters are on sale now in the Burchfield Penney Museum Store during hours of operation; all four in the collection can be purchased for a bundled, discounted rate.

Tickets for the majestic annual Coltrane Celebration September 24-25, 2021, featuring Tia Fuller and the George Caldwell trio; and Curtis Lundy & Umoja featuring Emilio Modeste, Walter Roney, Jr., T.C. the 3rd, Terreon Gully and George Caldwell can be purchased at  Also happening on September 25 there will be a special Tia Fuller Saxophone Clinic co-presented by Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective as part of the two day festival and open to elementary, high school and college students with ID . 

You can read more about this artist on the Burchfield Penney Site Here

Nick Householder is a Burchfield Penney communications intern