This month we are featuring Judith Capen for the Capitol Hill Art League’s Mind of the Artist series. Read her story and check out her artwork below.
You can contact Judith about her artwork here:
Mind of Judith Capen
I’m a lover of narrative, so I’ll try to make this a story about my mind. Buckle up.
First, we’ll eliminate all the agonizing (my devils, insecurities, my mother, my
father), the rants (my severe allergy to sprawl in all its ugly, hyper consumerism),
and aggressive opinions about some colors.
When I arrived at college, escaping West Virginia, yay!, I was an oblivious 17-
year-old. I joined a curriculum that was really training, indoctrination, attack
therapy, and an artifact of 1930s pedagogy: architecture school. We were taught
to design. To problem-solve. To care about craft. Forty years later, my son
characterized the training, which he shared, as drinking the Kool-Aid. Six years of
architecture school shaped me profoundly, both in entirely new ways and as
overlays to all the influences of my first 17 years.
The outcome was:
~I am a maker
~ I met my life partner, consumer of the same pedagogy (photographer of
~ I am a registered architect who has practiced for 50 years now and remain
hooked on the built environment, all kinds
Becoming a maker of artful objects really ramped up after my 28-year-old
daughter died after 5 ½ months of being consumed by cancer.
The first products of that were savage (and have been exhibited as art):
Much later (years), still somewhat single-minded about egg symbology, the work
About Egg Box:
Egg Box I made at a Yestermorrow box making workshop. It contains a single,
mostly intact egg.
About World in an Egg:
While I continue to make the occasional savage representation of my
grief/anger/loss, most recently I’ve been making objects I call ‘egg-in-egg.’ In this
case, it’s an egg, a tiny globe visible and a bit of Africa showing. My daughter
was an exchange student in Ghana in high school and said, “It has a piece of my
Since architecture school (and taking Drawing 101 three times trying to learn to
draw) I have drawn, not just in the process of working on buildings but when we
Sometimes I even draw trees and plants.
I don’t have social media or a website of my work, but if you’re interested you
could email me: firstname.lastname@example.org