Our Islands, Our Future

Julia Allisson Cost is from a family of well-known artists. Her father, Curtis Wilson Cost, is one of the most acclaimed artists on Maui and her mom, Jill, is a multi-talented sewist, fabric and fashion designer and business manager. Julia, with a double BA in Studio Art and Dance from Scripps College and an MFA in Dance from the University of California, Irvine, is a painter, textile designer, sewist, author, illustrator, and dancer. Inspired by her upcountry surroundings, she captures the world on canvas through painting and transforms her paintings into textile designs. Those designs have become the raw material for her clients who sew artistically.

“I’m just an island kid, born, raised and based on Maui,” Julia said. “My dad is a realistic landscape painter and has the longest running one-man gallery in the state of Hawaii, the Curtis Wilson Cost Gallery. He’s been archiving rural Hawaii as it looked before modern development through his oil paintings since 1973. My mom had her own one-woman batik and sewing business called Kulia Batiks. The love my parents showed me through the world of art flows into my relationships with my clients. That people love my fabrics enough to sew incredible garments with them is quite an honor.”

Most recently, Julia released her first picture book, The Girl And The Boat, which tells a story of friendship through 30 richly detailed oil paintings that invite you to explore countless details and interpret the story for yourself. It is about a little girl who lives high on a mountain overlooking the sea. One day, she finds a toy boat in a field of wildflowers and carries it home, washes it, sews it a new sail, and then goes on a series of adventures with it.

Julia added, “I painted every page of this book with the goal that each scene would stand alone as a work of art. I created the props and sewed the quilts and costumes so that I could paint everything from life and achieve a level of rich detail and realism. The story ignites imagination while beckoning to explore the paintings again and again.” For more info visit:

Living in so much beauty upcountry inspires my work. Julia Allisson Cost, Artist, Author, Dancer