The Friday Experience: Journeys with Judy Gardner

“Vision Quest” – Judy Gardner – Printmaker
"Vision Quest" - Judy Gardner - Printmaker
“Vision Quest” – Judy Gardner – Printmaker


Journeys, we all have them, whether it is to a tropical location or an artistic adventure to an enlightened plain. These journeys allow us to not be blocked in thought or obscured by anything. Allowing there to be clear vision.


Journeys is the title of the upcoming 5th Annual Regis University Art Show of Judy Gardner’s students at Tenn. Street Coffee, located at 4418 Tennyson Street, Denver, CO, Friday, November 1st, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. during the Tennyson Art District First Friday Art Walk. “Journeys of various types, both physical and spiritual seemed to be the common thread tying all the work together,” states Judy.


“Journeys have definitely been a theme for me for the last year. Over the Summer I did an artist residency up in Canada at Spark Box Studio in Ontario. I drove up and turned the whole thing into a sort of epic road trip,” smiles Judy. “That physical journey paralleled what was going on mentally, emotionally and spiritually. For quite a while I felt like I was floundering artistically. I have no problem churning out a steady stream of beautiful objects, but internally I kept asking myself, “What the heck am I saying with all this?”, and even worse, “Is it worth the bother of having said it?”, states Judy. “The time at Spark Box was rich on every level, but I think the most valuable thing for me was taking drastic action to set aside time dedicated to making my art. Setting my work as my number one priority for that period of time turned out to be a journey to a new clarity of vision.”


Judy is an artist and instructor that inspires those around her, myself included. She asks and shows us to think and see the art around us just a little differently. “I think in pictures. I figured out rather late in life and I am a little autistic. Everything I hear; everything I read; is translated into pictures before my brain can process it,” smiles Judy. “Often, the images that arise are a little strange, sort of subconscious imagery of dreams. That inner visual language feeds my work. I have to go through the same translation process in reverse to get things back out into words. The images are my native language. Communicating using words often feels like blundering along in a foreign language in which I’m not quite fluent.”


The advice Judy has for others that are considering heading into the art industry is simple. “If you think you can possibly be happy doing something else, you probably should. If not, then go for it. It’s not the easiest road, but if you can’t be happy not making art, you don’t have much choice. You just have to figure out how to market yourself and your work.”



What have been the keys to Judy’s success?  

“Alex Gray’s book “The Mission of Art” said that being an artist has three parts.

"Adrift" - Judy Gardner - Printmaker
“Adrift” – Judy Gardner – Printmaker

First, you have to work on yourself so you have something to say. Second, you have to work on your skills so you have the ability to say it. And third, you have to figure out some strategy for getting the work out of your studio so people can see it, because if you create the most sublime artwork in the world and no one sees it, what have you accomplished.”


Judy Gardner is consistently in a steady stream of national and regional shows and is included in several prominent collections including Denver Public Library Special Collections, Regis University and University of Denver.


You can find more out about Judy Gardner on and Judy also has work showing in November and December at the Arvada Center, Regis University O’Sullivan Gallery and Artists on Santa Fe located at 747 Santa Fe Drive, Denver.


Please join Judy and her students for Journeys at Tenn. Street Coffee, 6 p.m.- 9 p.m., First Friday, November 1st at 4418 Tennyson Street, Denver, CO.  This show will be up for the month of November.


The time to be an art collector is now. Why wait, your artistic journey awaits you.  Thank you Judy for sharing your journey with us.

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