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Horses have always been a big part of Judy’s life. As she grew up in  the  small Northern California town of Nevada City, she was involved in every aspect of horsemanship, from rodeos and roping to showmanship and jumping.  Some of her fondest years were spent helping her father show their Arabian horses all over the West Coast.

Later, she spent many years on a cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon where she learned the western way of life.

Judy on 1959 Cow Palace
Champion Arabian mare FERZARA

It was also at this time that, at a local foundry, she became familiar with the process of casting bronze sculpture. Fascinated by this process, she created and cast her first sculpture, the image of a Scottish Terrier that belonged to some close friends.  This media captivated her and she continued to refine her talent.

After returning to her hometown, she focused her creativity on sculpture and added jewelry to her accomplishments. As her career expanded, she was featured in national magazines such as The Equine Image, California Horse Review, Equine Visions, The Draft Horse Journal, Horses in Art and American Cowboy magazine.

Her latest accomplishment is creating art in relief form. She was commissioned to create 20 animals of the world for a prestigious new veterinary hospital in New Holland Township, Michigan. This art form has expanded into creating privately commissioned portraits of beloved animals. 

Much of Judy’s work is commissioned. In addition to her private collectors, she was selected to create a bronze of an Arabian Sporthorse as a memorial award for Ann T. Bowling, a University of California Equine geneticist. She has also created perpetual trophies and awards for the North American Trail Riding Conference, The Bolinas Ride and Tie Race, The Ted Schaps Hunter Sweepstakes, Art Wolleson Log Skidding Memorial, The Ultimate Hitch Award at the Draft Horse Classic, as well as creating the Draft Horse Classic show awards for the past 12 years.

 “Horses are the real work of art. I have just been given the privilege of recreating that form and making it timeless. I think equine artists, no matter what media they use, have a special passion for the animals they portray; it’s part of our being. Anytime I hear the word “horse”, it makes my head turn.”

Art Shows/Exhibits:

  • The Cattlemen’s Western Art Show, San Luis Obispo, CA

  • The American Academy of Equine Art, Lexington, KY

  • Art at the Classic, Grass Valley, CA

  • The Sedona Sculpture Walk, Sedona, AZ

  • American Women Artist’s National Competition, Santa FE, N.M.

  • Celebration of Western Art, Grand National Livestock Exhibition, San Francisco, CA.

  • Western States Horse Expo, Sacramento, Ca.

  • Wallowa Valley Festival of Art, Joseph, OR.

  • Doiron Gallery, three person show, Sacramento, CA

  • Ironstone Vineyards one-person show

  • Riverlea Farm Arabians, Grass Valley, California

  • Plum Tree Sporthorses, Loomis, California

  • Rubaiyat Arabians, Troy, Virginia

  • Dr. & Mrs. Steven Olcott, Corvallis, Oregon

  • Mr.&Mrs. Ronald Naumann, Ruche, Oregon

  • Mr.&Mrs. David Neilson, Dunnigan, California

  • Dr. & Mrs. Bruce Burdick, Grass Valley, CA

  • Amber Lane Farms, Brownsville, California

  • The Madonna Ranch, San Louis Obispo, California

  • Phoebe Hearst Cooke, Paso Robles, California

  • Donna Snyder-Smith, Santa Inez, California

  • Best Western Casa Grande Inn, Arroyo Grande, CA

  • B. K. England, Newcastle, California

  • Clint & Susan Walker, Grass Valley, California

  • Rolling Pony Ranch, Oakdale, California

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All photos and graphics are under copyright by the artist and may not be copied for profit or non-profit use without the consent of the artist. 
All Rights Reserved.
©J. Vargas  1986-2015

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