Judith Dierkes

Judith considers herself a fiber artist creating with paper, canvas and fabric. The work may be a painting, drawing, art quilt, sculpture or performance. Each piece is unique and informed by her life experiences. Her work is constantly evolving and changing. Sometimes she creates in a series using a central theme like: wildflowers, skies, hands, or Tennessee. Other times she works towards a particular show. She enjoys challenges, competitions, and commissions. Her work as an artist-in-residence might inspire her personal work either with theme or medium. She loves when that happens. Actually, there is usually a blurring between her personal work and residencies. She sees the residencies as collaborations with other artists, who might not consider themselves as artists at the beginning of the process.

In kindergarten her teacher took all of her artwork from the year and made it into a booklet. She still has that artwork and considers it her first portfolio. In high school she had special permission to take two years of art. She received a B.F.A. from UT Knoxville in three years. The majority of her electives were crafts classes. After seven years as a graphic artist, she returned to UT for a M.S. in art education. She continues to take classes and attend workshops. Although she has had gallery representation in the past, she prefers to represent and promote herself. In 1992 she began her career as a self-employed artist. She committed her life to working as an artist back in kindergarten and has never wavered.

She continues to find markets for her work in a variety of ways. She sells work through her website, through commissions, and at gallery shows. New markets she’s currently pursuing are: percent-for-art programs and working with special events coordinators.