“[It] was when my high school art teacher Frank Petronzio asked me what I was going to do upon graduation, and I wasn’t yet certain. He replied, ‘You are going to go to art school.’ And I did!” Plank has spent a career working as a successful artist since she studied painting at Montserrat School of Art in Beverly. She went on to graduate as a graphic designer from the New England School of Art and Design in Boston.
The first part of Plank’s career was as a textile designer, At Cyrk, Inc, Judy landed the job of lead designer for Reebok, and later took over as lead designer for Adidas International at MH Promotion Group, a position she held for seven years. Plank also designed for were Rockport Shoe, Levi Strauss, Fila Soccer, Teva Shoe, Columbia Sport, The Limited, Express, and many others. Plank also spent time as freelance designer for Louis Gregory, designing sports bags for primarily the ski industry. She provided logo, graphic, and bag design for industry leaders such as Dynastar, Raichle, Dynamic, Elan, K2, Rossignol and Volkl.
In 1998, Plank and her family decided to relocate to Florida in search of a lifestyle change. She opened a gallery, Daylilies Gallery & Tropical Décor.
“My vision was to promote my new mural and hand painted furniture business while using my design skills to help newcomers to the area to turn their homes into a tropical oasis,” she explained. Her gallery sold furniture and home accessories, and Plank offered a range of services from accessorizing homes, consulting for paint color choices, painting murals, or transforming dark Northern furniture to something beachy to coordinate with their new home.
The mural painting side of her business was one of her favorites – painting the walls, ceilings, and even floors of private homes from Tampa to Naples. Another successful project that Judy found rewarding and fun was a local calendar she created, printed on watercolor paper, that she filled with her own paintings of the area. The calendar promoted local events, tide and weather charts, and featured local recipes.
Plank ran her gallery for 14 years and due to her success, opened a second in the Long Island town of Greenport NY. Plank’s Florida location won local Best Gallery awards for all 14 years she operated it, as well as earning an award for Business Mother of the Year in May 2007 from Harbor Style Magazine.
Plank’s divorce, as well as her mother’s diagnosis of ALS, led Plank to close both galleries and moved back to Massachusetts to help care for her, as well as help her two children prepare for college. Her son Max graduated this may, and her daughter Zoe will be entering her Sophomore year in September.
Plank is also venturing back into home decorating and color consulting. One of her murals can be seen at The Fish Shack Restaurant in Rockport’s Dock Square. Her painted wood carvings and furniture will soon be displayed at the The Menage Gallery on Main Street in Gloucester."
- Kathleen Toomey