The Ukiah Daily Journal
`Meet the Artist' event set for Saturday
The Mendocino County Art Association (MCAA) will be presenting another opportunity for the community at large to engage with a world recognized artist, Julian Billotte, who has achieved that recognition for his talent in restoring and recreating lost pieces of badly damaged antique frames in addition to his ability to scale tall buildings to apply gold leaf surfaces.
This is a part of the “Meet the Artist” series, presentations open to the public free of charge. MCAA hopes to reach artists and art lovers with interesting stories of artists and their life and times and to be an inspiration for their work. Julian Billotte will be at the Ukiah Garden Club, 1203 W. Clay St., on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 10 a.m. to noon.
He has practiced his art of gilding in the most adventurous, interesting and historic places, from altars in Greece to the heights of an onion dome in the Bay Area, and will demonstrate his gilding technique and explain the process of restoring antique frames. There will be frames displayed to ogle the mind, as well as a slide show of examples of the places he has been and the objects he has revived.
“I recently attended a gallery show of the gigantic frames he has restored in cases where only one corner was left on a hugely ornate frame. Julian had recreated that corner for the three missing with such exactness that you would not know which was the original,” Kathleen Gordon-burke said.
Billotte, a gilder and conservator of gilded objects since 1994, trained with Joel Hoyer at the Louvre Frame Shop in San Francisco and studied wood carving with Agrell and Thorpe in Sausalito.
He traveled to Mt. Athos in Greece to study Icon Restoration with Father Paul Politis at the Skiti of Saint Andreas, and was invited back to gild an altarpiece for the monastery Dionysou in 2000. Billotte is the owner of Capricho Studio and has completed many large jobs, including gilding the dome of the Church of All Russian Saints in Burlingame, the Governors' Ballroom at the Academy Award Complex in Hollywood, and the restoration of 40,000 square feet of the ceiling at the historic Anza Branch of the San Francisco Public Library.
Since 2014, he has maintained the frames for the Keith Collection at Saint Mary's College and, in 2006, was guest curator for an exhibit highlighting the frames and frame conservation of the Collection. The Keith Collection was exhibited in the Grace Hudson Museum a few years ago.