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Judith Peck: Narrative Commentary

Header Painting by Judith Peck | Steeled | oil and plaster on board | 40x60 Diptych

Urban Dream  | oil and plaster on board | 36x48

Urban Dream | oil and plaster on board | 36x48


I look at the things happening in the world today, and what history had taught us about our broken world and I can’t stop being drawn into the unreason of it all.  What I try to express in my art is that we all have the same hopes and dreams as anyone, anywhere at anytime in the present or throughout history.  I depict how, despite our rifts, we might experience healing in a broken world, and how that undertaking is universally human.  My goal is that my paintings draw in viewers by depicting individuals with rich inner lives and compassionate personae.  The viewer is in dialogue with the sitter, having arrived at the same space together.

I'm looking for the binding power-opposite of mob mentality-our mutual connections.  Although we can all be overwhelmed and feel helpless, the human spirit always possesses hope, even in the most desperate of circumstances.  I would be happy if I can show a glimmer of our broken yet beautiful human experience.  For the paintings in this series, I used an individual model to represent a life’s broken path created with oils and imbedded gessoed plaster shards.

I began the process of using plaster in my work years ago with a very personal piece, painted it around 1987.  It was inspired by two of my grandparents leaving behind their former life and coming to America and safety, each as orphans.  I used the plaster shards to represent the broken world they left behind but always carried with them.  Then I started painting about history and that grew into this more universal message of meaning and preciousness of life and healing a broken world.

Profiling  | oil and plaster on board | 14x11

Profiling | oil and plaster on board | 14x11


This series is a commentary race in America.  Using the same model in each of these works, my intention is to make an intimate study of human emotions as well as a dialogue with the audience on issues of social justice.  

So far I have been able to show some of the pieces in this series as they have been completed.  The painting, Pulled Over, was exhibited at the renown, Yeelen Gallery in Little Haiti, Miami and was featured in PoetsArtist, in the show, what’s INSIDE HER never dies. It was also singled out for acclaim by the College Art Association’s Committee on Women in the Arts best in feminist art and scholarship.  My painting, Urban Dream was juried into the show, Radical Re-imagining in conjunction with the play, An Octoroon at Woolly Mammoth Theater in Washington, DC. 

The works present a narrative that is contemporary and relevant to today's issues not only in the United States, but also globally, and which can be understood in terms of "the other", those of different origin, religion, or characteristics are to set apart.

Memory's Reflection  | oil and plaster on board | 40x30

Memory's Reflection | oil and plaster on board | 40x30


A graduate of the George Washington University with a degree in fine arts, Judith Peck has exhibited her work in venues nationwide including Yeelen Gallery in Miami, the Masur Museum of Art in Monroe, Louisiana awarding Peck the juror’s award, Context Art Miami during Art Basel, a solo at the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts in New Castle, Pennsylvania, and Principle Gallery both in Alexandria and Charleston. She has received the Strauss Fellowship Grant from Fairfax County, Virginia, and was awarded a residency at Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming.

Her paintings have been featured numerous times in PoetsArtists, as well as The Artist’s Magazine, American Art Collector Magazine, iARTisas, Combustus, Catapult Magazine and The Kress Project book published by the Georgia Museum of Art.

This summer, Peck has been invited to participate in plein air event at the Douglas Land Conservancy in Colorado as well as the International Artist in Residence Program, Kunstinsel Hallein, in Salzburg, Austria.

Judith Peck’s work is collected internationally and can be found in many private collections as well as in the Museo Arte Contemporanea, Sicilia and the public collection of the District of Columbia’s Commission on the Arts and Humanities.