Judith Lavendar was born in Detroit, Michigan just as the United States was entering World War II. Raised on a horse farm, her ﬁrst artistic endeavors were drawing the horses around her and she dreamed one day of being a horse show photographer. Her family was a collector of old masters and ﬁne furnishings and Judith grew up surrounded by amazing art. Educated in New England she received her BA from the University of Kentucky in art and was on her way to New York to become an Abstract Expressionist but went home to be with her grandmother. There she painted and submitted to juried shows and soon married, had a son, trained racehorses, and worked as a news and magazine photographer. Her art-making moved from a studio to a kitchen table where Judith items of leather decorated with galloping horses and began to work in mixed media. After moving to rural Virginia Judith received an M.A. in Art Therapy from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
In 1999, Judith moved to New Mexico where she followed the trails of Georgia O’Keefe, painted the landscape with Wolf Kahn, studied painting with Joan Snyder, and eventually studied at the University of Arizona where she hoped to become a political painter. In 2003, she was diverted into electoral politics. Working in both New Mexico and Arizona Judith continued art-making in a studio and sometimes on the kitchen table.
Judith returned to New York City in 2005 and began art studies in earnest at the Art Students’ League. She then discovered drawing and painting on a larger scale at the New York Studio School where she joined the studio program and worked with atelier heads, Carole Robb and Bill Jensen. Three years later Judith received her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
When Judith’s life had shifted from rural living to city life a strange blend of the two occurs. Odd people, horses, dogs, and sometimes cars and planes inhabit the same space where they are often at odds with one another. Trips to the New York auto show, Washington Square Park, and rides on the Subway began to become an art. The images became more personal and psychologically charged and began to depict the human condition everywhere. Judith looks for life’s heartbeat at both curious and subtle, or dramatic moments. Her subjects begin to see more than a reﬂection of the material or conflicting juxtapositions of disparate subjects but kinds of reﬂections of her own inner world.
Judith has shown her work in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Washington D.C., Virginia, Massachusetts, and New Mexico.