Breckenridge fiber artist finds inspiration in Colorado scenery
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Judy Keim is a fiber artist living in Breckenridge with her husband, Ed. The couple moved to the county in 2006 from central Pennsylvania after Judy retired from a 32-year career as a program manager. Although they moved for the skiing, she says they also found many more things to love about the area, including the scenery, the summers and Colorado lifestyle.
In 2012, the Keims opened JK Studio in Breckenridge, giving Judy a place to design and create her handmade fiber items, as well as a storefront to sell her pieces. Quilted and unquilted wall hangings, fabric pins, coasters, cards, hats, headbands and embellished fleece vests and jackets comprise the majority of the items Judy creates.
“Making fiber art is my passion, and something I do every day,” she said. “The design process is the most fun aspect. And, it’s so rewarding when others like what I do and want to add it to their life.”
The studio is located at 100 S. Main St., Breckenridge and can be reached at (717) 855-0561.
Summit Daily News: What kind of medium do you use?
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Judy Keim: When personally asked “What is fiber art?” I refer to artwork that incorporates fiber. Fiber is the mainstay of my art, specifically fabrics, yarns, threads and beads.
SDN: Where could people have seen your art before?
JK: Previously, my art was displayed at the summer outdoor markets in Vail, Minturn, Dillon and Breckenridge. In addition, I had items on display at Arts Alive and had the privilege of being a featured artist at the Breckenridge Theater Gallery. In 2012, I decided to open a fiber art studio in the Lincoln West Mall on Main Street in Breckenridge. The studio provides not only a place to create unique art, it also allows me room to display and sell. In addition, my art has a constant presence online, on my website and in social media.
SDN: How did you first get into art, and what kind of background do you have in the subject?
JK: How did I become a fiber artist? My background started in sewing, moved to knitting, counted cross stitch, hand embroidery, quilting and now beyond. When I just quilted, I called myself a quilter. Because of my evolution beyond that facet, I now fall into the fiber-artist genre. The constant, in my evolution, remained the fiber aspect. For many years, I was a quilt advocate. Now, I follow many others in being a proponent of fiber art.
SDN: What inspires you?
JK: My greatest inspirations are Colorado scenery and various other art. The Colorado scenery becomes a part of many of my designs. The mountains, the aspens, the flowers are especially inspirational. Observing others artwork causes lightbulb moments.
SDN: What is your work environment like — do you like to work with music, outside, etc?
JK: Initially, I worked at home. Now I have my own studio, which in reality is an extension of my home — it’s a great place to relax and create. While working, I prefer to have music or TV in the background, although I don’t actually watch the TV.
SDN: What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
JK: Don’t lose sight of your reason for doing art, whether it’s to feed your passion, to augment your experience, to exercise your right brain, for financial gain, to improve your art or some other reason. There will be ups and downs, and sometimes you need to remind yourself why you are doing art.
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