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Tom and Judy Show

The Tom and Judy Show is a collaboration between artists Judy Vetter and Tom Sale--both household names in the Dallas art world. Judy Vetter is the proprietress of her eponymous production studio...

Tom and Judy Show

The Tom and Judy Show is a collaboration between artists Judy Vetter and Tom Sale--both household names in the Dallas art world. Judy Vetter is the proprietress of her eponymous production studio Judy Vetter Quilts. Several years ago, she hired artist Tom Sale to assist her one day a week. He quickly (or so he says) learned the ropes of cutting and sorting fabric squares, but when Judy's back was turned, he was more likely than not drawing raw chickens or digging out miniscule fabric scraps covered in coffee grounds from the trash bin. Thus, an unlikely marriage of craft and trash was born. Tom and Judy Show pieces are often embroidered or made of fabric but with unsettling imagery or just plain folly. Both artist delight in word play as can be seen in their newest installation piece The Secret Life of Butterflies. Fifty traditional folksy quilt squares with the same butterfly pattern are pinned to the wall in a pattern reminiscent of the periodic table of the elements. Over each butterfly's body is embroidered a word of a mental condition or human foible, such as obsessive, psychotic, nympho, and zombie.

Other works start with a common interest in animal forms (Tom is a former zoo keeper). Quilt tops are covered in silhouettes of swinging monkeys, birds on a wire, and zookeepers and seamstresses chasing chickens. Judy often uses vintage embroidery and fabrics in her own work, and these more often than not find their way into Tom and Judy Show pieces--but always with an interesting twist. Narratives about the embroidered characters are stitched over images and sometimes vintage pieces are dyed black and embroidered with skulls and chickens.

Tom and Judy Show pieces range from $10 to $300 (depending on how badly Judy or Tom want them for their own private collections!)

Most importantly, every piece created by the Tom and Judy Show is made for the sheer pleasure of their creators. Judy and Tom laugh their way through every project and find that their collaboration has a positive influence on their individual art works as well.

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