Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Judy Byron

Judy Byron

Judy Byron’s undergraduate education in theater at Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY was enhanced with art training at the Corcoran School of Art and Design.

She has received recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MidAtlantic Arts Foundation and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Her public works hang permanently in several sites, including the School of Social Work in the Tate Turner Kuralt Building at UNC Chapel Hill, Service Employees International Union and the Urban Institute.

Selected solo exhibitions include Artist House Installation: WHERE I LIVE: Exploring Identity through Bodies and Clothes; Artist House Installation: WHAT MATTERS; and Artists + Communities at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Selected group exhibitions include Picturing Politics, curated by Rex Weil, Art Against Aids on the Road, curated by Ann Philbin, and Art and Ethics (Sawtooth Center for the Arts, Winston-Salem, NC).

Byron's work is included in collections such as The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Corcoran Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, Rutgers University’s Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum and the Miriam Shapiro Archives, the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Columbia and The Absolut Vodka Collection. She is the founder of CAMP, an Artist Mentorship Program at the Corcoran Museum of Art, which was honored as a national model for mentoring by the National Endowment for the Arts and the President's Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Byron’s Artist House Installations include events such as Sunday Salons and Evenings of Conversation. The concept of Artist House is intended to bring together art, ideas and audience as a way of building cross cultural community while exploring the works' narrative in a neighborhood setting.

Her next Artist House Installation will be PERFECT GIRLS.

Growing up in a family that didn’t believe girls should go to college, I got caught up in my own dreams and ended up a self-supporting student immersed in theatre studies and the philosophy of Constantin Stanislavski. Although, ultimately, I moved from center stage to back stage and out the stage door, my training in Method Acting defines my approach to drawing and to presenting female figures as conveyors of our shared humanity.

I believe in the dynamism of one’s inner and outer life at any given moment in time. It fuels my approach to portraiture and combines my love of drawing with my enduring interest in issues of identity. With these works, I draw “from the inside out”, connecting kinesthetically through the physicality of each woman’s body and her clothing to express what she has brought emotionally into the moment. On the back of each drawing, writing in the subject’s own hand offers a window into facets of character beyond my gaze, while my revealed markings on the silhouetted background acknowledge my evolving presence in the work. Audio now adds the color of voice to my previous use of text. The life-size scale of the work invites the viewer into the audio/visual dialogue. Through the soft cast of the clothing, the punch holes in the silhouette, and the writing on the clothing’s underside, I wish to acknowledge the ephemeral nature of life.

View Judy Byron's CV (PDF)

WHAT MATTERS: Jane and Jennifer, Ayanna and Willa, Marianne and JoanArtist House Installation: WHAT MATTERS Detail: Jennifer from WHAT MATTERSArtist House Installation: WHERE I LIVE: HelgaRachelArtist and Process

Washington, DC


Text, images, audio, and/or video in the Feminist Art Base are copyrighted by the contributing artists unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.