Colorado Creatives

100 Colorado Creatives: Judy Anderson

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Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Judy Anderson: Tough question. Leonard Cohen. [see below]

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

So many to choose from, but to choose just one: Leonard Cohen. I am truly amazed by his evolution as an artist, poet, thinker and human being. And I'm curious about what he might write and create next. I've always been fascinated by writers, perhaps because as a visual artist I feel so clumsy with words. Observing his process -- both how he responds to events and feelings in the moment as well as builds upon past experiences -- is inspiring. And, of course, I love his voice as he sings and speaks his words. Something about the tonality, the raspiness of his voice soothed by the background melodies creates this other-worldliness; it consumes me. Yes, he is pretty sexy, too, and his music feels so full of longing, spirituality and truth.

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

Art that tries too hard to be important. I am drawn to work that feels authentic and makes me think or see in a new way. It's fascinating that every single person has their own unique voice that no one else has. Finding and feeling comfortable in that gives such an incredible foundation for the risk-taking that the creative process embodies. I love looking both at the way people think, what they obsess about, their craft, and ultimately their ability to put themselves out into the world to have people respond to them.

What's your day job?

I am blessed at this time in my life to work at PlatteForum and be surrounded by the most amazing staff, artists, youth and volunteers ever. Talk about authenticity! After 25 years of teaching in universities, navigating tenure and academic politics, working in my studio, exhibiting my work, volunteering for social justice issues, I helped create an organization that truly celebrates the very grit of what makes us human (in the best sense) in 2002. When you step into PlatteForum you know you are in an amazing place. The spirit, joy and passion everyone brings is palpable. We work together as a team, take risks, collaborate, support each other and the people we work with, and always have something new up our sleeves.

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd