News & Updates

Announcing our annual Master Artist Fellow


left: Jude Binder, FestivALL Princess in Performance, 2015.
Photo by Greg Sava.

right: Jude Binder, Totem Mask, 1993. Photo by Bill Bailey.

We are proud to share that the visual and performing artist Jude Binder is the foundation’s 2017-18 Master Artist Fellow. Jude’s work was selected from seventeen nominee applications by an independent committee comprised of fellow West Virginia-based master artists and leading national arts experts. Jude will receive a financial award and a year-long national marketing campaign that will illuminate her vast and varied career.

As a master woodworker, painter, graphic artist, dancer, actor, and leader of Heartwood in the Hills, the nonprofit performing arts education organization she co-founded with Frank Venezia in 1982, Jude exemplifies the compelling and multidimensional paths professional artists build to formalize their careers.

Follow the foundation’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, join our email list, or check the Master Artist Fellow page to find the videos and stories we will be producing about Jude over the next year.

left and right: Jude Binder, Swirl Spoon (Detail), 2008. Photo by Bill Bailey.

Many people today may more commonly recognize Jude performing as her alter ego, the FestivALL Princess, who is lead ambassador for Charleston’s FestivALL arts festival. The FestivALL Princess shows Jude’s dynamism as an artist, and the dedication she invests into her craft. The costumes, masks, persona, and performances are all created and carried out by Binder with support from her seamstress Lynda Milliron. Jude appears publicly as the Princess during the annual event in Charleston as well as in Grantsville, WV.

Jude’s training and professional career in visual and performing arts spans more than 60 years. She received training from instructors at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, DC); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (Philadelphia, PA); Washington School of Ballet (Washington, DC); School of American Ballet (New York, NY); and with master woodworker Talmidge Geho (Calhoun County, WV), among others.

She is the recipient of numerous awards in diverse creative disciplines such as filmmaking and performance plus a Governor’s Award for the Arts (WV Division of Culture and History) and a Secretary Star Lifetime Achievement Award for Commitment to Education and the Arts (WV Department of Education and the Arts).

Jude Binder and Norm Sartorius, Autumn Hare, 1981. Photo by Rick Lee.

The foundation’s Executive Director Renee Margocee offers, “Jude is a master artist, a supremely gifted performer, and a vibrant contributor to the community. I am thrilled we will be devoting time to putting a spotlight on her illustrious career. It is essential that West Virginians bring to light stories like the one we have to tell about Jude. Sharing about her life and contributions with a national audience will help to refute entrenched stereotypes about our great state. Promoting Jude’s career across West Virginia will inspire her fellow artists and residents about the possibilities of being a professional artist in the state.”

Follow the foundation’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, join our email list, or check the Master Artist Fellow page to find the videos and stories we will be producing about Jude over the next year.