2017 DUMA Biennial artist – Judy Bales

Yugen III
Judy Bales, Fairfield, Iowa
Yugen III

Building on 30 years of experience as a fiber artist, sculptor, creator of art for the body and bridge design team member, Judy Bales creates art that is the exciting and improbable marriage of cold industrial materials and the sensuality of nature. She utilizes industrial materials, many of which are found, recycled, or salvaged, in an ongoing effort to reveal beauty in unlikely places.

Bales received BFA and MFA degrees from the University of Georgia, majoring in painting as an undergraduate and completing post-graduate work in fiber art. This combination of very distinct even unlike disciplines has served her well and prevents her work from being precisely categorized. While closer to a fiber artist in choice of materials, she approaches her art more like an abstract painter, relying on improvisation and painterly techniques rather than the more exacting, controlled approach traditionally favored by fiber artists.

The broad range of her work is clearly unified by a sensibility that asserts the power of an artist to create beauty from anything, and convey that simple but vital truth to an audience. By manipulating materials in ways and for contexts for which they were never intended, she embraces creative transformation and a form of subversion that is alluring, sometimes whimsical and always nourishing to the imagination.