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The Jam Session.jpeg


Special Note: In May 2022, my painting, The Jam Session, oil on linen, 40"x30", was presented as a gift to the American Federation of Musicians, Local 802 in New York City, and installed in perpetuity. Diane Charlap commissioned the piece to commemorate her husband Emile's 70+ year membership, and raised contributions for the Musicians Emergency Relief Fund of the Union at the event.

For 30 years Judy Kirtley maintained a photography portrait  studio in Manhattan. She also photographed events: jazz concerts, theatrical productions, recording studio sessions, CD/DVD cover art, weddings, and performers' publicity photos. She was the official photographer for "The Jazz Nativity" in NYC for 9 years, and for the International Society of Bassists for 5 conventions. Her photographs have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Billboard, Playbill. Beginning in 2007 she began attending classes at The Art Students League in New York City, studying anatomy, drawing and painting oil and watercolor, with Francis Cunningham, Mary Beth McKinsey, Peter Cox (with whom she also studied at the American Academy of Art, the National Academy of Art, and at his private studio), Costa Vavagiakis, and Henry Wong, and Henry Finkelstein, as well as Steven Assail and Tim Saternow.


Judy's fine art photography and art works are in several private collections, and have been exhibited and shown  extensively. See the 'Contact' page of this website for details.




It’s been my joy, my honor, my privilege, to develop my visual creations for nearly 40 years. The journey from the stage where I was a performing artist for more than 40 years through ballet, drama, voice, has been challenging and rewarding. Each discipline bled into the next. I completely immersed myself  in each one for long periods of time, devoting time and resources to develop them. In 1985, as I continued performing on stage, photography gave me an opportunity to ‘see’ a performance. 


The work I’m doing in my studio at this moment – and it, as always, will evolve – is translating drawings that I have done in public, on subways, beaches, architectural sites, into much larger oil paintings, sometimes watercolors.

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