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A Private, Independent PreK-9th Grade school in downtown Boise, Idaho. 


Artist on the Rise

June 03, 2020
By Foothills School

As Foothills graduates enter the workforce, we find that our alumni have the skills, intelligence, and initiative to forge their own paths and discover purposeful work. In this report, we are excited to highlight one Foothills alumna's experience. Julia Ballenger was born and raised in Boise and attended Foothills School from Kindergarten through 8th grade. After leaving Boise to attend college at the University of San Francisco and then spending time in London studying at Central Saint Martins University of the Arts, she returned to Idaho to continue her career as a ceramicist.

In her warehouse studio in Garden City she creates what she describes as artistic and functional pieces that celebrate womanhood and radical self-love. Her ceramics are available in 20 stores domestically and 10 internationally and can be seen online at She also recently collaborated with Third Love and was featured in their #WomanMade campaign. Although it wasn’t originally her intention to turn her passion for ceramics into a career, as her work began resonating with more and more people she slowly turned her “side-hustle” into her own business.

When asked how Foothills School helped prepare her for a career as an artist and small business owner, she replied “I learned that thinking differently is a strength, not a weakness. This foundation allowed me to be bolder and braver in my learning when it came to choosing what I would study (I majored in Art History and Fine Art), and more flexible and open-minded when it came to patching a career together that I believed in. Overall, Foothills gave me the confidence to be more creative in my decisions.” She went on to say, “I loved that Foothills allowed me to be my own biggest advocate in what and how I learned. I had a lot of trouble learning to read, but I never was made to feel lesser than. I was encouraged and celebrated for my strengths, while still being held accountable for my learning. I had a real sense of family every time I walked into its doors. I quite literally grew up with my fellow students and teachers and to this day keep in contact with most of them. I felt like I was raised by a community.”