Former art professor unveils new installment

Dr. Judith Peck worked at Ramapo for 42 years teaching various disciplines of art including sculpture, life drawing and art therapy. Her accomplishments included developing a program that would train students how to teach art to people in jails, nursing homes, psychiatric centers, domestic violence shelters and homes for abused children. Now, the Professor Emeritus of Art continues to share her work with local communities.

The four pieces are titled Reclining Woman, River Flow (pictured), Joyful Company and Women’s Nature. Photo courtesy of Jon Scarlet

Peck’s most recent artistic installment is titled “Ladies of Steel,” and it is on display at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, the Gateway to the United Nations in Manhattan. Four different black and white sculptures of women in different positions are presented together in a line on a cement staircase, conveying the landscapes and actions of women. “Ladies of Steel” is also an initiative to highlight Women’s HERstory month, which recently concluded at the end of March. The exhibit will remain on display through August 2023.

“Steel is strong but malleable; it can bend,” Peck said in a press release. To create these “ladies,” she began with sketching before using a welding torch to cut and shape the steel sheets. Though incredibly proficient in steel, Peck works with a diverse variety of sculpting mediums, including wood, bronze, stone and fiberglass.

Not only has Peck left an educational impact on Ramapo’s community, but her work remains featured on Ramapo’s grounds. Everyone who has passed the Berrie Center on their walks around Ramapo’s campus has noticed her iconic statue, “One Man in Memory of Six Million.” The statue, featuring a single man, is Peck’s tribute to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. It has been displayed on campus since 1973, and in 2012 it was purchased to become part of Ramapo’s collection and permanently remain on display.

Featured photo courtesy of Jon Scarlet