Judi Cermak, president of Ontario County Arts Council has been a member since 1996!
Judi has always loved creativity! She credits her mother with encouraging creative play, both inside and outside the house. In seventh grade she admired and was inspired by her art teacher, June Kesel. Judi went on to become an art teacher in the Bloomfield School District for 36 years.
Judi is an eclectic artist – always learning, always experimenting in different artistic genres such as oil, watercolor, and acrylic painting, pastels, color pencils, ceramics, fiber arts. Since retiring Judi has taken advantage of numerous art classes through the senior citizens audit program at FLCC. If Judi isn’t creating something her sleep is troubled by a recurring bad dream. So she is almost always creating!
She feels that the artist that has been her greatest influence is Judy Chicago, who created the feminist art piece,"The Dinner Party." Judi was inspired by famous female artists to create this needle felted and embroidered piece titled, "Inspiration."
As you can imagine, Judi’s studio is full of a variety of supplies, but her most valuable artistic tool is her scissors. (You’ll have to ask her why!) Her days start at 5 AM, beginning with a cup of coffee while she checks her lists of: things she has to do, should do, and creative things she wants to do. The early morning is a quiet time to embroider, crochet, and do needle work as she contemplates which list to start on first.
When asked what her favorite art piece is that she’s made Judi says that it changes with age and that she most enjoys creating art. She feels she is more attached to art work she has acquired from other artists because when she looks at it she has fond memories of and appreciation for the artist who made it.
Judi and Dorothy Mariner spearheaded the start up of the "All Things Art" venue in downtown Canandaigua, which provided our community with space for visual art exhibits, musical and theatrical performances, classes and lectures. Although Judi was there when "All Things Art" had to shut its doors, she didn’t give up! She played an essential part in the reinvention of the Arts Council.
In 2017 when Ed Varno, then director of the OCHS museum, offered the Arts Council exhibit space in the North Gallery at the museum she embraced the idea! Judi states that, "Circumstances are always changing. It’s important to have a creative attitude toward what we can do to support all of the arts that are so important to the vitality of any community." Recently, Judi has also facilitated the partnering of the Arts Council with the Fort Hill Performing Arts Center to provide rotating exhibits of arts council members' art in the auditorium lobby.
Judi feels that the best thing about being involved with the arts is meeting so many different artists!