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Judy Kirpich

Judy Kirpich


Artist Work

Conflict No. 7
Hand dyed cotton
Conflict No. 11
hand dyed cottons
75" x 81"
Anxiety No. 9/ Mastectomy
hand dyed cottons
43" x 68"
Anxiety No. 10/ Retirement
hand dyed quilted cotton
43" x 69"
Anxiety No. 6
hand dyed quilted cotton
62 x 72
The Day After No. 2
hand dyed quilted cotton
78 x 77

Artist Information

Montgomery County
Artistic Category

Visual Arts

Artist Statement

My work is directed by my emotions, and I am a somewhat half-empty, anxious person. The complexities of running a 40 person agency, the war in Syria, Mexican druglords, the Great Recession, mental illness and cancer have all informed my work. My art is a mirror into my soul, and sometimes it has been somewhat dark. I work in a series and often come back to a subject matter over and over. I love the juxtaposition of spontaneity and precision. To get a composition to look free flowing and gestural demands great control and exactness. This is my holy grail and I still have not cracked that nut. But I continue to try. I do not applique or use any fusing whatsoever. All of my work is machine pieced and machine quilted and while it would be far faster and easier to fuse fabric together, it is not a technique that I use.

Artist Bio

For 37 years Judy was the founder and CEO of a 40 person branding agency outside of Washington, D.C. On the side she spent every free minute quilting- not traditional bed quilts, rather large wall installations that use quilting techniques. She practices improvisational quilting- and does not use patterns. She prefers to cut pieces that she pins to a large design wall, working until she likes a composition and then figures out how to engineer the piece and sew it together.

While Judy has always been interested in sewing it was only in 2005 that she discovered improvisational quilting.  Since starting to show her work in 2011 her  quilts have been seen in museums and quilt exhibitions in Europe, Asia and in the United States.  She was awarded the prestigious Quilt National Japan Prize and joined a select group of artists showing their work in Mastery: Sustaining Momentum, and Color Improvisations 2,  two Nancy Crow curated shows in 2016. Her Conflict Series quilts were shown at a one woman show at the Aughinbaugh Gallery in 2017. Judy Has judged several shows and will be one of the judges for Quilt National 19.

While her art may seem dark at times, she has a wonderful life with her husband David, two marvelous grown children, Max and Jody, and a loyal Golden Retriever, Barley. She splits her time between her house in Takoma Park, Maryland and an old 1880's farmhouse in Lewes, Delaware where her studio is located.

Exhibitions and awards:

2017, New Legacies: Contemporary Art Quilts at the Lincoln Center
2017 Quilt National
2017 European Patchwork, Sainte-Maries-aux-Mines, France
2017 Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, UK
2017 Color Improvisations 2, Textilsammlung Max Berk / Kurpfälzisches Museum and Konstanz Council Building in Konstanz Germany
2017 Aughinbaugh Gallery, The Conflict Series, a one woman show
2017 Summit County Historical Society
2017 Turmoil, International Quilt Festival, Chicago, Illinois
2016 Japan Quilt-Stitch, Tokyo, Osaka
2016 Mastery: Sustaining Momentum, Dairy Barn Art Center
2016 Color Improvisations 2, Museum Tuch + Technik Textilmuseum, Neumünster, Germany
2016 Turmoil, SAQA show at the International Quilt Festival, Houston
2015 Quilts=Art=Quilts, Honorable Mention, Schweinfurth Art Museum
2015 Susquehanna Art Museum, 20/20 Contemporary Arts/Traditional Arts
2015 Quilt National, Japan Prize
2015 Gallery 72, Ghost Slavery, Art against human trafficking
2015 SAQA Online exhibition, Graphic Colour
2014 Art Quilt Elements, People's Choice Award, 2014
2013 Art=Quilts=Art, Best of Show. 2 pieces included
2013 Form, not Function, Quilt Art at the Carnegie,  Award of Excellence in Memory of Textile Artist Alma Lesch
2012 Art=Quilts=Art, Schweinfurth Art Museum, Second Prize
2012 I'm not crazy-SAQA juried show,