Capturing the World on Canvas

Editor’s note: The following paintings are by Julia Cost and were published in the spring/summer 2023 print publication of Stance on Dance. Enjoy!

A painting of a hula dancer with arms gently raised. She is wearing a long gray dress against a red background.

“Betty Ann’s Hula” (2014), Oil on canvas, 16″ x 12″


Three dancers kneel in three adjacent outdoor doorways, all with one arm raised.

“Doorways, Frigiliana” (2013), Oil on canvas, 30″ x 40″

This painting pictures a moment of choreographic process from the making of a dance film in the village of Frigiliana, Spain.

Dancers left to right: Amy Quanbeck, Madeline Seers, Rebecca Levy


A long painting of a dancer leaning over with one arm raised. She is wearing a pink shirt and black leggings against an orange background.

“Maya” (2008), Oil on canvas, 24″ x 11″

Picturing Maya Guice


Julia Allisson Cost was born and raised in upcountry Maui, Hawai’i by a family of many artists. She is passionate about making anything by hand, in particular: capturing the world on canvas through painting, transforming her paintings into textile designs, and the physical and emotive experience of dance and choreography. She earned a double BA in Studio Art and Dance from Scripps College and a MFA in Dance from University of California, Irvine. She is a painter, textile designer, sewist, dancer, and maker of all kinds. See her work at