Judith Wray

East Brunswick, NJ.
e mail at:

"Yellow Pages" a self-portrait

Where do I begin?

A carved telephone book?

 leather bound,

"let your fingers do the walking" went an old ad for the yellow pages...

these pages illustrate a transition

We all have beginnings! Mine didn't begin with me, nobody's does!

My father inherited a Chapel in the woods and got to be minister by default,

 slid right into it, singing his off key heart out and getting my sister and I to come along for the ride.

 I don't think it is important where people are in space or time. Somebody said "Let death have no dominion", well that's how I feel. It doesn't. We work, play and communicate together, leaping boundaries all the time. ( Good tried and true example: Libraries  )
So what has this got to do with Digital artists? They possess skills which allow their creativity to take multiple leaps past any art form previously expressed. New technology has unleashed creativity from a thing with solid form to an idea in a virtual realm.
Houdini asks 100 people from an audience to come to the stage and stick out a finger to levitate a large body and together ..lift !

Together we can levitate large projects barely trying.

The community draws value and inspiration from artists of all kinds.

Together, we are an engine for change, to re invent, to explore and problem solve.

HURRAH! Art is food, it feeds us! (Bread and Puppet Theatre)

 I began levitating unusual arts projects ( using who and what is all around), with Photoshop and the Internet.
These projects were born beginning about 12 years ago with a  project using the photo copied images of hands and arms and even a few bones..

 ARMS FOR ART, 1993      Close up of a small section

The collage of arms was 31 ft. wide and 12 ft high. For the few weeks leading up to its assemblage, we made a call for photo copied arms and hands. Different color paper was welcomed. Different sizes were welcomed. No quantity maximum was stipulated.

Seniors lined up at the YWCA in New Brunswick, chuckling that this was unusual and fun.

Children from New Brunswick's Head Start program were welcomed to Kinkos ( when it used to be across from the New Brunswick train station ). The manager passed out paper and crayons and the children spread out across the rugged floor and waited their turn to have their little hands photocopied in both black & white and color.

Michael Preston, from Middlesex, NJ made large 11" X 17"  copies of his long ( and hairy arm ), 50 copies !

The night we began to assemble all the collected images, Mike came and sat in the hallway helping to cut them all out like paper dolls.

We took his 50 arms and created a wave spreading out on one side.

It was the Arms for Art project which began to cut a path. I received envelopes of photo copied hands in the mail from strangers. There was a feeling of being on target and a momentum going past myself as though some flow or current had been tapped into.

 the Wizard behind the projects

 curtwray.jpg (11201 bytes) clic!

The Ocean Show & Fish Bricks   

 Concept Behind the Ocean Show

The Fish Brick- The Alchemy of Art  (Melding Pixels & Concrete)

begun the summer of 2000

both real & virtual bricks

The Hub With Magnetic Connections  

Click Hubs to Scroll Through!

1999-Real and Virtual Hubcaps

Traveling Magnetic Show

 work that sticks together both literally and figuratively



click both images

 begun October 2002-Dreaming of Pipes

Digital Projects & Shows Sponsored The Elephant Project, 2001
The Floating Art Project / The Graffiti Wall, 2001 WINDOWS-The Transparent Flower Show, 2001
TOWN CLEANERS Internet Experimental Project, 2004 The Food show, 2002
Art in Our Communities, 2004 Art is Food Virtual Show, 2004
Below. A little more past history and development.

"Scream", Bronze, 12" X 8" X 5", 1987

( The bronze period ! ) When I worked at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture, State of the Art foundry in Mercerville, NJ, (1987-89), we were taught processes leading up to and including bronze casting. This was a formative experience, as a cast could be endless variations in addition to a perfect and identical caste. It was these variations that grabbed my attention.

Working along side serious and gifted sculptors from around the world was an educational experience in many ways. We were all aware of the health risks and could see the effect that years or even months of working in an unhealthy environment had on each other.

One of my most unforgettable experiences was when a sculptor whom I admired very much invited me to see a storage area where his bronzes were kept. We drove over to an enormous old warehouse. Artists had created studio space on all the floors. We went up the elevator and the door opened to an area of space maybe 3000 sq feet. In the dusty, dim lighting we stood there silently seeing the hulking ton sculptures under grey tarpaulins, tied down.

In those wordless moments many things were said. I knew that each month the rent had to be paid for space like that. I knew the cost in money and labor to produce the sculptures. I knew the wonder of the sculptures themselves. I saw dinosaurs. Something going extinct.


 Ten years between the bronze scream (above) and Tyeast's Piece (Below )
"Tyeast's Piece-Flower Power" 1997
46" diameter, Photo-copied images of Tyeast's fingertips, framed in cast hydostone.

Click for larger view
This image is a composite poster showing "Tyeast's Piece" in the upper right corner, Tyeast herself, (center), and her friend Alex (lower left) along with a guest appearance from the shark and the turtle, and Chuck the puppy. (Almost forgot! that's me, Judy Wray, with the red hat.) Click the image for a larger view.

All these creatures were involved in creating during the 10 years between bronze sculpture and producing "Tyeast's Piece" and others below. (The shark leaped off Ginny Wick's ocean mural, if you pull up " Plastique-the Ocean Show", you can see him again, where he is supposed to be, but he peels off and there is no stopping him now. He goes anywhere he wants).

Chuck the puppy was around at the beginning when we made clay impressions of Tyeast and Alex fingerprints. When it came time to pour the plaster in the clay impressions, the mold sprouted several leaks. White fluid gushed out all over, and Chuck rushed in to lap it up. Tyeast saved the day by plugging leaks with one hand and fending off Chuck with the other.

Now the turtle.
The turtle has always been around, it seems. From the time my dad would drive down country roads, bringing turtles home, over and over again, in all shapes and sizes. The turtle is a symbol and a friend, of steadfast persistence, showing up everywhere, even on doorsteps in far away places.


Click for larger view
Click image for large view

"Floating", 1992

56" diameter, Styrofoam, velvet
satin, plaster of Paris and Crayola crayons.

"Floating" was a piece created in reverse logic, using negative space. The problem was digging out the 3-D shadow of the fish images, then pouring in a solid to catch the ghost of the shape. The rest of the forms grew up around them. Styrofoam puzzle pieces.


Frozen waves, covered in satin and velvets. The fish were cast in plaster and slathered with melted crayon. It was light weight, except for the fish. The whole thing was beautiful, but highly breakable, and so the next piece was created to be a more durable variation of a floating fish theme. It weighs a ton!


Click for larger view
Click image for larger view

"Floating (Variation 2)", 1993

Four kinds of Exotic Wood, Imported from Venezuela, Cast Bronze

This piece sat around in closets and spare rooms for a long time. It is so ominously heavy, it is uncomfortable to stand next to! Floating from a far, falling up close! But you don't take it anywhere. The easiest place to send it, is into cyberspace, on this web page, where I have no trouble sending it anywhere, and the real piece can sit safely in my living room.

Judith Wray and Phyllis Castells

Terracotta, Raku Glazed, Lead Fishing Weights,
bronze, hay baling hook. 6' X 2' X 2'

The fish was produced as a result of a class assignment to work with a partner

 creating a piece with many parts.

When we were done, we were faced with mutual ownership.

All along we had to contend with our differences and afterwards too.

What developed was a kind of birth, a brain child born of us both.

What now? It seemed to me a particularly brilliant design to assign the project to

 create the dilemma and affect us both powerfully.


Something was "born" in that sculpture that neither of us recognized as our own. We looked in wonder. The sum of the parts was more than a simple count of pieces.


The fish hangs by its head from a hay baling hook. It has a spine of large three-pronged fish hooks. It goes together on the same principle as a Christmas tree. Each scale or group of scales going on in clusters or individually. The head crowns it all. It is a fish kit. It could come in a box, and be different every time it is assembled. The clay scales are raku fired.

raku is an ancient Japanese method of glazing. Each clay piece is heated to a red hot state in a kiln. The pieces are then removed with tongs and thrown into a pile of twigs and leaves (or sawdust) which bursts into flames.

Quickly, an airtight lid is clamped down. Flames consume the oxygen and create a vacuum. Minerals from within the clay are drawn to the surface of the clay where they mix with the chemicals in the applied raku glaze. Instantly, a chemical reaction begins to take place and crimsons and coppers and turquoise and iridescents appear, depending on the minerals present and glaze used and timing and heat and oxygen. There are a lot of variables, which produce an infinite variety of results.

John's Portrait,  1994

A collage of photo copied images.

A photograph of John would show you how John looks. The portrait here, which is done with photocopied images, tells instead, how he feels. At the lower left, if you look very carefully, you may be able to see John's face and hands. All around him is dismal and black and white. The hands around him clenched and distorted. As the hands progress upwards, they open up like flowers unfolding, the hands of children, in color, reaching together, joyous at the top, celebrating life. John's portrait hangs at Broadway House, an AIDS Hospice in Newark. He is proud that it is there and wants others to know his story.

Seven years ago, John's father went to the hospital. While he was there, he was given blood contaminated with the AIDS virus. He went home to his wife and children not knowing he had contracted HIV. Time worked its magic. By the time he discovered he had AIDS, his wife had it too.

John's father died. Two years later, John's mother died. The family was crazy with pain. No one was thinking about the bills. Two monthly payments on a $20,000 insurance policy for the mother were missed near the time of her death. The insurance company canceled the policy. John's one ray of hope was to finish college, not to lose their home and go on with his life. He could not believe the insurance company would cancel the policy for two missed payments under the conditions they were going through. He talked to representatives from the company. They told him not to worry, just get a letter from the hospital explaining the conditions of his mothers death.

The hospital erased his parent's records. He couldn't get the letter. John's lover left him. He was laid off from his job of twenty years. His whole world was closing in on him. John's parents were good, kind people. John is a kind person. John could not understand what was happening to him. At the time I met him, all I could do for him was to listen to his story and do this portrait.

John did complete school. He did not lose their home. The insurance company re-instated the policy and John's world is looking a little better now. But there was a time when he didn't know how he could go on or take another day of it. John is proud of this portrait and that it was at Broadway House. It is a monument to an era of his life that holds pain, hope and courage.


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