Judi Strega is an artist, living and working in Cornwall. Judi trained in textiles in Manchester in the sixties and worked in textile design, having been persuaded to forgo her first love of painting for a more 'practical' career.
However, having worked on her own paintings during and after the birth of her children, she began to study print-making at the Longden Workshop & Gallery in Macclesfield, Cheshire, under the tutelage of Anne Aspinall. She also shared studios with Northern artists, Nigel Mottram and Steve Redwood and benefited hugely from their teaching.
The Longden Workshop, which Judi joined in 1990, is a small co-operative, largely female, with print-making facilities, darkroom, painting studios and gallery. Here, Judi was able to develop her style and show and sell her work in the small but charming gallery. The desperate need for studio space AND exhibition facilities amongst Macclesfield artists led the members of the Longden to join forces with other artists to create Format, an Association of Fine Artists in Macclesfield, Judi being a founder member.
After years of searching, Format set up studios at a former textile mill, where Judi became Studio Administrator and general 'Format Doormat'!
Format members began to raise the money needed to renovate the dilapidated mill and Judi and her co-founder, artist and sculptor, Steve Redwood, devoted all their time to grant applications, fundraising events and government red tape, whilst plastering walls, glazing windows and doing a fair bit of joinery!
Eventually, studios for 17 artists on two floors were opened with a class room area, print room with etching press, sculpture workshop, kitchen facilities and a large exhibition area. Judi began to run etching classes and a Saturday morning children's class which was always well subscribed!
There followed a fruitful period of work for Judi, both painting and printmaking and as artist-in-residence at a local primary school. Her work featured in exhibitions at Derby, Stoke on Trent and Manchester City Art Galleries, and at various galleries in the region - Buxton, Chester, Stockport and Macclesfield. She also took part in workshop sessions run by the Arts Council, at their invitation, to develop a new national qualification for artists and regularly gave talks to community groups and other interested parties - especially other artist groups around the country who were able to benefit from Format's experience.
Following her divorce, Judi moved to Cornwall to fulfil a childhood dream. Here, she became manager of the Glass House Gallery in Kenwyn Street, Truro and showed (and sold) some of her work there! With all her art world contacts virtually irrelevant in the South West, Judi has spent several years now attuning herself to the Cornish Art scene - a very different proposition to that in the North West - and is putting together a body of new work for future exhibition.