Aftergraduating from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Ph.D. in experimental psychology, Judy Rand took a position teaching psychology at Bowie State College, Maryland, in 1974. During her summers off, she discovered she had a passion for woodworking. Judy spent the next year experimenting with various woods on woodturning equipment, making small bowls and vases. In 1977 she decided to see what of her collection she could sell at the Artists in Action program on Washington D.C.'s Smithsonian Mall. She made $47 on her first day and decided then and there that woodworking was what she wanted to do with her life.
Judy has been earning her living as a woodworker since she left her job teaching in 1980. Her work has gone through numerous style changes ranging from Art Nouveau to sophisticated folk. She has made striking folding screens, unique end tables and cabinets, richly decorated trunks and segmented wall pieces.
The latest body of work uses the landscape in abstract form. Dramatic images in subtle color emerge from a black field. Often in Judy's designs there is an inviting path, which disappears and reappears through textured hills of muted lavender, rust and gold. The artist recognizes these scenes as depicting her feelings about the fascinating, and rarely predictable, journey of life.