Judith Jaffe, J75

Judith Jaffe, J75

Judith Jaffe, J75, earned her degree at Tufts under tough circumstances. Newly divorced, she was raising three teenagers when she entered the Tufts-Museum of Fine Arts program in the early ‘70s. She took much inspiration from her younger classmates, although, she says, she didn’t always understand the “do your own thing” philosophy that dominated the students’ thinking at the time.

Over the decades since then, Jaffe has never limited herself to one medium or one idea. One step into her studio in a renovated middle school turned artist’s den in Maynard, Mass., reveals her prolificacy with reflections on deities, explorations in botany which hide internal organs in their roots and leaves, quick drawings of local jazz bands, and self-portraits from different periods, including months when broken bones led her to stay in bed, like artist Frida Kahlo. “I’m accident prone,” she admits.

Jaffe’s latest show ran through the summer of 2013. A retrospective titled I’m Not Finished Yet!, it featured sculptures, drawings, paintings, and collages including signature pieces that share a theme of life moving onwards. “I love babies,” she says. “They represent so much that’s vital and burgeoning.” Some of her pieces include photocopied cutouts from her grandchildren and photos of her son who died in a bicycle accident in 2004.

“There is always something new and surprising that inspires the mind to create. I’m fortunate to be able to express all that is good, sad, and curious in my life and share it with others.”

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