BIOGRAPHY

Torn magazine pictures of manmade objects reconstructed into images of nature is one of Judith Gary’s current creative outlets.  Among the types of images she uses are oil derricks, nuclear plants, and drug advertisements, and plastic objects.  “It’s a symbolic way for me to reverse mankind’s interference with the beauty and wellbeing of nature.  It’s very therapeutic.”  Another one of her creative outlets is painting and drawing plein air.  “Plein air painting offers a special experience of energy and freshness you can’t get from indoors. Besides a great view of your subject, you’re immersed in the environment surrounded by the sites, smells, and sounds of nature.”  Judith currently works in her home studio in Tucson, Arizona.  Living in Arizona all her life, it’s not surprising that her work often focuses on the Arizona desert.  She creates mainly with acrylics, watercolors, pastels, graphite, and clay.

 

Born and raised in a small town in Douglas, Arizona, Judith did not have a lot of exposure to the arts growing up.  But, she loved drawing and coloring as a child, and had dreams of maybe becoming an artist one day.  Judith started serious art study in 1978, enrolling in the University of Arizona art school with intention of focusing on fine arts.  She was redirected by a counselor to go into graphic design instead.  “You’ll never make a living as a fine artist” was his advice.  Unfortunately, after working part-time and doing some freelance commercial art while she was going to school, she realized that it was not what she wanted to do.  So, she dropped out to work full-time in office administration to take a break and reevaluate her life.  She met her soul mate, married, and with two step kids and a husband, the years flew by.  “I would try to make time whenever I could to fit some drawing and painting in my schedule”  When she became employed at the University of Arizona, she decided to reenroll, but this time in the field she’s dreamed about, fine arts.  As part of her course work, she fell in love with clay.  After graduating in 2002, she set up her home studio and raku became her main focus.  Her creations included “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) luminarias and masks.  Part of her heritage is based in Mexican culture.  She loves the sentiment of the celebration which celebrates the souls of relatives and friends who have passed away.  In 2005 she received the Emerging Artist Award at the Arizona Statewide Clay Exhibit held at the Shemer Museum of Art in Phoenix, AZ.  But now her work in clay is coming to end due to the process being so physically demanding, especially the raku firing process.  “At age 59 my body was complaining, so I’m ending the clay chapter of my art career.”  But she’s excited to have more time to focus on painting and drawing.

 

Another aspect of Judith’s creativity involves creating street art.  She creates large murals using chalk and pastels.  When attending art history at the University of Arizona, she was so impressed with the Italian Renaissance, she visited Italy in 1985.  While in Rome she looked out the pensione window and saw a breathtaking chalk creation on the sidewalk.  “I learned about the Italian madonnari in art history, but didn’t realize the art form was still being practiced.  The tradition of the chalk art murals originated in 16th century Renaissance Italy when artists created paintings on pavement using chalk. The reason these artists were called madonnari was due to their customary practice of creating chalk paintings of the Madonna.  Today artists worldwide are continuing this ancient form of expression.”  When she looked out that pensione window, little did she know that one day she would be creating her own.  She’s been creating murals for events in Arizona and California from 2015 to the present.  Besides public art commissions for chalk murals, Judith has also been commissioned to do Live Painting for various events.  “This is an important way to expose the general public to the arts.  It’s a good opportunity for the artist to explain their art process.  The public has been very appreciative and fascinated with learning about the process.”

 

Through the years she has also shown her clay and painting creations in galleries, art shows, and juried exhibitions.  She graduated from the University of Arizona with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2002.  She is a member of the International Street Painting Society.

 

 

 

RESUME

 

PUBLIC ART COMMISSIONS

2019 - Chalk Mural on sidewalk for Sahuarita Chalk Festival, Sahuarita, AZ; 6 ft. high x 6 ft. wide; Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance

2019 - Chalk Mural on asphalt for Palo Alto Italian Street Painting Expo, Palo Alto, CA; 12 ft. high x 9 ft. wide; Palo Alto Festival of the Arts

2019 - Live Painting at Rancho Vistoso, Oro Valley, AZ;  11" high x 14" wide watercolor; Splendido Retirement Community

2019 - Chalk Mural on canvas for Chalk Walk, Tempe Marketplace, Tempe, AZ; 5 ft. high x 5 ft. wide; Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance

2018 - Live Painting for Arizona Farm and Food Festival at Casino del Sol, Tucson, AZ; 30" high x 24" wide; acrylic on canvas; Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance

2018 - Chalk Mural on sidewalk for Happy Crawloween, Oro Valley Marketplace; 6 ft. high x 6 ft. wide; Oro Valley, AZ; Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance

2018 - Live Painting for KABLOOM! Flower Bomb Festival; 4 ft. high x 3 ft. wide acrylic on canvas, Westgate Entertainment District, Glendale, AZ; Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance

2018 - Chalk Mural on canvas for Chalk Festival, Westgate Entertainment District; 6 ft. high x 6 ft. wide; Glendale, AZ; Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance

2018 - Chalk Mural on board for Pima County Fair; 4 ft. high x 8 ft. wide; Pima County, AZ

2017 - Chalk Mural on canvas for Chalk Festival, Desert Ridge Marketplace; 6 ft. high x 5 ft. wide; Phoenix, AZ; Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance

2017 - Chalk Mural on asphalt for Oro Valley Holiday Market; 8 ft. high x 8 ft wide; Oro Valley, AZ; Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance

2016 - Chalk Mural on sidewalk for Chalk Festival, Desert Ridge Marketplace; 6 ft. high x 8 ft. wide; Phoenix, AZ; Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance

2016 - Chalk Mural on asphalt for Gesso Italiano; 8 ft. high x 8 ft. wide; San Diego, CA; Little Italy FESTA Events

2015 - Chalk Mural on sidewalk for Chalk Festival, Westgate Entertainment District Chalk Fesital; 6 ft. high x 8 ft. wide; Glendale, AZ; Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance 
 

GALLERIES / SHOPS

2015 - 2019       Tempe Center for the Arts; Tempe, AZ

2014 - 2017       Tucson Museum of Art; Tucson, AZ

2012 - 2016        EcoGrow; Tucson, AZ

2009 - 2017        Deadwood Picture and Framing; Tucson, AZ

2007 - 2010        Platform Gallery; Tucson, AZ

2004 - 2010        Old Town Pot Shop; Tucson, AZ

 

EXHIBITIONS

2015 - TCA Biennial: Copper, Tempe Center for the Arts; Tempe, AZ; juried

2013 - On Our Own Time Annual Staff Art Exhibition, University of Arizona; Tucson, AZ; juried

2012 - Dia de Los Muertos, Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery, Tucson, AZ, juried

2012 - On Our Own Time Annual Staff Art Exhibition, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, juried

2010 - Unique Offerings, Contents Interiors; Tucson, AZ; juried

2008 - All Arizona Clay Exhibition, Shemer Art Center and Museum; Phoenix, AZ; juried

2008 - Big Ideas/Small Frames, Dinnerware Artspace; Tucson, AZ; juried

2008 - The Big Picture, Platform Gallery; Tucson, AZ; juried

2006 - Arizona Clay 2006, Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery; Tucson, AZ; juried

2006 - Arizona Statewide Clay Exhibit Seize the Clay, West Valley Art Museum; Phoenix, AZ; juried

2005 - It’s Lidded, Modern Hand Gallery, Old Town Artisans; Tucson, AZ; juried

2005 - Arizona Statewide Clay Exhibit, Shemer Museum of Art; Phoenix, AZ; juried

2004 - Art Exhibit for AF&PA Conference, Ventana Canyon Resort; Tucson, AZ; by invitation

2003 - Southern Arizona Clay Artist Exhibit, Xposure Gallery; Tucson, AZ; juried

2003 - Earth Day Exhibition, Central School Project; Bisbee, AZ; juried

1999 - 2003  On Our Own Time Annual Staff Art Exhibition, University of Arizona; Tucson, AZ; juried

2001 - Annual B.F.A. Senior Exhibit,  Joseph Gross Gallery, University of Arizona; Tucson, AZ

2001 - Anamalia Art Show, Café Quebec; Tucson, AZ; juried

2000 - Ceramics Show, 410 Gallery; Tucson, AZ; juried

 

SHOWS

2014 - Spring Artisans Market, Tucson Museum of Art; Tucson, AZ; juried

2014 - GardenersSpring Fair, Green Valley Gardeners; Green Valley, AZ; invitation

2013 - 12th Annual Pottery Sale, Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona; Tucson, AZ; juried

2013 - International Festival of Tucson, Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church; Tucson, AZ; juried

2009 - Big Brothers, Big Sisters Southwest Flair A-Fair, Fine Art and Craft Fair; Tucson, AZ; juried

2009 - Great Art for a Great Cause, Handi-Dogs Organization; Tucson, AZ; juried

2008 - Holiday Artisans Market, Blue Raven Gallery; Tucson, AZ; juried

2007 - Tubac Holiday Market; Tubac, AZ; juried

2003-2005 - Spring & Holiday Markets, Tucson Museum of Art; Tucson, AZ; juried

2004 - Ceramic-a-Rama, Arizona State Museum; Tucson, AZ; by invitation

2000-2001 - Art2 Art Market, Tucson Arts District; Tucson, AZ; juried

 

AWARDS

2012 - People’s Choice Award, On Our Own Time Art Exhibit

2005 -  Emerging Artist Award, Arizona Statewide Clay Exhibit

2003 - First Place, Sculpture Category, On Our Own Time Art Exhibit

2002 - Third Place, Painting Category, On Our Own Time Art Exhibit

1999 - Second Place, Painting Category, On Our Own Time Art Exhibit

 

PUBLISHED ARTWORK

"Prickly Pear in the Moonlight", Incite 2 Color Passions: The Best Mixed Media!, collage chosen to be included in September 2014 publication:  North Light Books, Mixed Media

"Hurling Through This Thing Called Life", graphite drawing, Art Calendar Magazine, February 2003, Vol. 17, No. 2, page 12

 

MEMBERSHIP

International Street Painters Society
 

EDUCATION

2002 - Bachelor of Fine Arts, Studio Arts; University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
 

 

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