Urban Jupena received the ATA Award for Excellence for his tapestry, “Spark, Blaze, Afterglow.” It was exhibited in Woven Together: Firestorm, June 21 – August 3, 2013, at the Business Art Center in Manitou Springs, CO. The show was organized by the Pikes Peak Weavers Guild.
Urban Jupena is a full professor emeritus from the Department of Art and Art History at Wayne State University in Detroit. He attended the Philadelphia University of the Arts and Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work has been shown in many juried national and international shows including the International Triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland, in 2007 and currently in the 10th Triennale International des Mini Textiles in Angers, France.
“Over the forty-five years of my career, I have created many public and private commissions. The private ones are my favorites because I get direct feedback from my clients. I feel like I have affected their lives.
In the last few years, I have been weaving tapestry. I can spend a year creating one and usually I do a series that can take a few years. To me, the whole series is the piece. A few years later, another piece can be added to the series – so they are ongoing.
My work has always been about color. When I did the first section of “Spark, Blaze, Afterglow,” it was about the great color of flames and atmosphere created by the smoke of a fire, even the wind currents created. Why a fire? As a child, my brother and our friends were camping. A campfire got out of control and the whole field went up in flames in a few minutes. Everyone else ran home, but I remember just standing there thinking how wonderful the color of the fire was.