Judy Sigunick

Judy Sigunick Sculptures

 

Statement

I grew up on the south side of Chicago, a short bus ride from the Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry and two blocks from a rocky shore of Lake Michigan – all of which contributed to the artist I have become. I received a BA from the University of Illinois in Champaign/ Urbana in 1964 where I studied Political Science, worked as a child advocate/ caseworker for the Department of Social Services for several years. Having relocated to New York City in the early 1970’s, I raised three children and later enrolled in an MFA program in 1990. In 1995 I was awarded my first public art commission, My time is now shared between my Cragsmoor, NY studio and teaching ceramics at Dutchess Community College.

My 20 year art practice has incorporated welded steel, ceramics, concrete construction and printmaking. Clay is worked to suggest a range of human attributes, allowing me to grapple with many of today’s most intractable conflicts between peoples, and the complex psychologies that resist simple solutions. Earlier works include relationships between African Elephants and people, man and the modern world, moments of triumph and moments of great injustices. My connection to my sister- a complicated relationship - is an additional prism in the development of my work.

I began making my most recent ceramic figures after 2003 when I heard the story of a young college student and peace activist, Rachel Corrie, who traveled to Gaza . While acting as a human shield to protect a local Palestinian’s home from demolition by the Israeli Defense Forces, she was crushed by a bulldozer. The house remained intact. Hearing of this event was seminal for me and from that moment on I vowed to be as candid and thoughtful in my work, as Rachel Corrie was brave and trusting in her actions.

"Untitled With Roses", begins the new series works. It is composed of the bust of a young woman suspended atop a structure resembling a steel girder, outstretched arm, henna designed hands, and cloaked in a protective cape with painted roses sewn of coffee filters. After ten years, there continues a steady, meandering stream of works coming from this one kernel of promise to myself.


Judy Sigunick was born and raised in Chicago. She received her MFA at SUNY New Paltz in 1993, has taught since 1996 and has exhibited her work internationally. Artist residencies include the Vermont Studio Center and Market Street Art Center. 1996 Statement: "My current work, predominantly ceramic, visually binds the human figure together with large endangered or neglected animals – typically elephants – as if to mend the tragic results of dividedness and social greed."

Her commissioned public art brings together multiple values by incorporating community art work into her designs. They include the Morse School Hudson river Mural in Poughkeepsie, NY; the Ulster County Poorhouse Memorial in New Paltz, NY; Anderson School for Autism; the Rosendale Rhinoceros in Rosendale, NY and a 60-foot concrete whale on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, NY. She currently teaches ceramics at Dutchess Community College.