2009 France photo by Bob Drake
JUDITH REN-LAY has been making art in New York City for four decades, showing in a variety of mediums including dance, performance art, music, drawing, poetry, photo collage and digital photography.
Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, she moved to NYC in 1975 to study with Merce Cunningham and Viola Farber among many others, and danced as a leading soloist in the company of Gus Solomons jr until 1980 when she began developing live performance works integrating site-specific installation, movement, spoken text, light, and original music for which she was awarded a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for outstanding creative achievement with “The Grandfather Tapes” in 1985. She has received Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Franklin Furnace, and The Kitchen, and her archives are currently part of the permanent collection in both music and dance at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
Mostly showing in New York City, she has made site-specific full evening, solo works at LaMama E.T.C, Performance Space 122, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, Movement Research at Judson Church, Dixon Place, The Knitting Factory, Franklin Furnace, Roulette, The Performing Garage, The Roof of Riverside Church, The Warren Street Performance Loft, Westbeth, Theater for the New City, ReCherChez, A Clear Space, The Ohio Theater, Henry Street Settlement, The Kitchen, The Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, Snug Harbor, and the legendary performance art venues of the 80’s – The Pyramid Club, The Mudd Club, 8BC, CBGB’S, The WOW Cafe, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. Her extensive body of work has also been seen in Denver, New Haven, San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Monica, Chicago, Cleveland, Kutztown, London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Switzerland.
In 2002 a CD of original vocal compositions “Out Of Nowhere” was released by the Knitting Factory to critical acclaim, considered one of the ten best jazz albums of the year, “Some of the most amazing sounds I’ve heard a human make” (Jazz Review.com)
Gallery Exhibitions include solo shows at SB Digital Gallery NYC “DANCES WITH LIGHT” (digital photography – 2010) the SpaceCase Gallery/PS122 “CORNERS OF A ROOM” (double photo collage - 1997) and “OFFER THE STROKE/STROKE THE OFFER” (drawings - 1995) as well as group shows at the New Arts Program Salon in Kutztown, PA (2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2019.)