Long-time Urban Gateways teaching artist Judy Petacque passed away peacefully in her Chicago home on April 20, 2017 at the age of 81. We are sad to say goodbye to an incredible artist and educator who inspired hundreds (probably even thousands) of young Chicagoans to view the world in a more colorful and creative light.
Judy taught visual arts classes and workshops in Chicago, Evanston, Glencoe, and Oak Park public schools, as well as Ray Vogue School of Design, Old Town Art Center, the School of the Art Institute, and City-Wide Colleges. She led dozens of visual arts residencies in Chicago-area schools through Urban Gateways. An acclaimed artist who exhibited frequently throughout the Chicago area, Judy focused on collage, textiles, mixed media, mask-making, and more. She was an avid traveler and frequently drew from her experiences abroad for artistic inspiration. Judy’s artist statement for Urban Gateways stated that she was “committed to opening up students’ awareness and triggering new ways of seeing. She believes that all people are creative and she strives to free the inner artist in each student through fun, educational, exciting and unthreatening multicultural art making experiences. She creates multicultural hands-on lessons so students can honor and appreciate the richness of their own roots and the cultures of others using techniques of mask-making, silkscreen printing, Chinese paper cuts, Aztec headdresses, Panamanian Mola greeting cards, Vietnamese puppets, African textile designs and more.”
Judy created amazing scrapbooks about many of her Urban Gateways programs, including this one about her work with autistic students at Beard Elementary in fall 2012. We can think of no better way to honor her than by seeing how she touched the lives of Chicago students, so take a look at her scrapbook below (you can also view it here). We will miss her; we’ll be thinking of her and of all she did to make the world a happier, more vibrant place.