These days, Judy Anderson is best known for her good work as director of PlatteForum, the nonprofit in the Central Platte Valley that pairs resident artist-mentors with at-risk kids for a start-to-finish exhibition experience. A talented artist in her own right, with a strong background in education and design, Anderson has shaped PlatteForum into a rich, experiential workshop of shared ideas with concrete results. And if theres one thing shes gotten out of her time there, its how to administer the fine art of collaboration. Shes really, really good at helping to put heads together on a project, and no surprise, this is quite adept at collaborating herself.
That skill shows in Andersons collaborations with wordsmith Ginny Hoyle, an old friend with whom shes created several handmade book projects. Their latest tag-team creation, When We Were Birds, a multi-faceted installation combining book art with poetry, opens tonight with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. in the back gallery of Walker Fine Art, 300 West Eleventh Avenue.
To begin this project, Anderson and Hoyle began meeting weekly to tell stories and sort out their lives together as both continued to grow as women. When We Were Birds, which juxtaposes books made from cut-apart pages from Andersons old notebooks with Hoyles words, emerged from those sessions. Its really about soaring now, when youre in your sixties, about sailing forward, Anderson says. Its almost like a memoir, with books that form a sculptural city out of fragments from both of our lives. Eventually, the collaboration grew to include photographer Efrain Cruz and sculptor Christopher Hecker, a resident at PlatteForum during last years Biennial of the Americas, who created platforms for the installation.