Biography: WATERMAN--Judith. Painter and feminist, died quietly Thursday, June 5, 2014 with her partner Irena Klepfisz at her side in the Brooklyn home they've shared since June 1979. Born on August 19, 1936 in Barrington, IL Judy came to NY in 1961 and studied with Theodoros Stamos at the Art Students League and with Linda Nochlin at Hunter College where she received her MA in art history. She had many interests, was especially drawn to architecture, wrote her MA thesis on South Carolina barns, and painted and photographed rocks, marble and water. A voracious reader, she followed closely Second Wave writers and political journalists covering the Bush presidency and the Iraq war. She was devoted to the writings of Jane Jacobs, Ada Louise Huxtable, Robert Caro and the legal columnist Linda Greenhouse. Passionately committed to her art, she painted during the day and worked paid jobs in the afternoons and evenings. For decades she scavenged dumpsters at night for wood for stretchers for her wall-sized paintings. She received a New York State CAPS grant and taught art, art history and women's studies at Russell Sage, Fairleigh Dickenson, Vermont College and elsewhere. She exhibited in the Selinas and Third Street Galleries, Aldrich Museum, 55 Mercer, among others, and her work is in the collections of Finch College Museum, Albert Johnson Museum (Cornell College), Russell Sage College and Staten Island College. Through NYC's CETA arts program, Judy painted public murals and led art classes for seniors, her favorite work. In the 1990's she became active in her UFT chapter and, through DC37 and the Consortium for Workers Education, taught ESL and GED night classes to restaurant and hospital workers who spoke little or no English and for whom she created original stories and sketches. Of her teaching, one supervisor once said: "Judy can teach anything." Due to illness, she stopped working in 2010. She is mourned by her sister Sue Cooper, brother Tod Waterman, sister-in-law Lise Shellenback, nieces Hayley and Cooper, and life-long friends Janet Yacht, Susan Goldberg, Cheryl Rhuman, Marty Dolin and Julia and Isaiah Zagar, and by her devoted and loving partner Irena Klepfisz.
Published in The New York Times on June 13, 2014.
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