Judy Frater

The UW–Madison Division of the Arts welcomed Judy Frater as the spring 2022 Interdisciplinary Artist-in-Residence.

Judy Frater is a curator, author, and school director who lived in the Kutch region in Northwest India for 30 years. She is an award-winning Ashoka Fellow, founded a design school for artisans, currently operating as Somaiya Kala Vidya, and co-founded the Kala Raksha Trust and Museum.

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About the Artist

Living in the Kutch region in the Northwest part of India for 30 years, Judy Frater co-founded Kala Raksha Trust and Museum. An award-winning Ashoka Fellow, she founded the first design schools for artisans: Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya and its current structure Somaiya Kala Vidya. Previously, she was Associate Curator of The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. She is the author of Threads of Identity: Embroidery and Adornment of the Nomadic Rabaris, The Art of the Dyer in Kutch, and numerous other publications. Frater also received the Sir Misha Black Medal.


Department of Design Studies, School of Human Ecology logo Art Department logo Art History logo Wisconsin School of Business Bolz Center for Arts Administration logo
Center for South Asia logo Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies logo

The Spring 2022 Interdisciplinary Artist-in-Residence Teaching program is presented by the UW–Madison Division of the Arts and hosted by the Design Studies Department with Professor Jenny Angus as lead faculty. Current additional supporters include the Art DepartmentDepartment of Art HistoryBolz Center for Arts AdministrationCenter for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE)Center for Design and Material CultureCenter for South Asia, and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

The UW–Madison Division of the Arts has hosted world-class artists-in-residence since 1995 and formally launched the Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program (IARP) in 1999. The program recently changed its name to the Interdisciplinary Artist-in-Residence Teaching (IART) Program. IART is made possible by funding from the university’s Office of the Provost.

Guest Artists

Zakiya Adil Khatri’s father, a batik artist, treated boys and girls equally. Zakiya practiced batik in the workshop when the artisans weren’t around. In 2013, she took design courses atKala Raksha Vidhyalaya (KRV). “Women do the work and men get the credit,” she said. In 2017, Zakiya traveled to Cusco, Peru to present to an international gathering of women artisans. “Education is everything,” she said, and the audience applauded. “The first thing is that women in India face great obstacles,” she said. “An Indian woman can succeed only if her father-and husband-support her.”




Irfan Anwar Khatri learned block printing when he was fifteen. When his father passed away suddenly, Irfan assumed responsibility for the home and business at the age of 22.In 2007, he traveled to UK. “I saw craft as a means of cross-cultural communication,” he said. He has since traveled to Indonesia, Nepal, Tajikistan, Dubai, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and China to attend conferences and conduct workshops.





Adil Mustak Khatri revived his family tradition.After twelfth grade, he learned bandhani, then took design courses at Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya (KRV) to learn more. Through his work and design he pushes boundaries in bandhani and shibori. He received the World Crafts Council seal of excellence. In 2020, Adil was juried into the highly competitive International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe.





Prakash Naran Siju’s family is one of a very few who have made flat weave carpets for several generations. Prakash learned carpet weaving from his father, and now has nearly a decade and a half of experience. He stands out as a leader in craft community, now mentoring young weavers in his village of Bhujodi.

Resources + Media Mentions

Cultural Diversity, Connection, Value, and Sustainability – the Role of Hand Craft

Course: Design Studies 527 – Global Artisans
Day/Time: Spring 2022 | Mon. & Wed. 1:45-3:45 pm
Credits: 3 | Counts for certificates in Design Strategy, Global Health, and/or Textiles and Design
Location: Innovation Lab, 2194 Nancy Nicholas Hall | 1300 Linden Dr.
Prereq: Minimum junior standing

Download the course flyer (PDF).

Description: Utilizing design thinking, students in this project-based survey course will be exposed to important issues surrounding small-scale artisan production, value, and sustainability. Students will develop valuable hands-on skills working with artisan partners through craft techniques, design, quality control, branding, and story-telling.

Students will explore the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection and learn to use the holdings as inspiration, and then exhibit their co-designed work later in the semester in the Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery. Four textile artisans, a hand weaver, hand block printer and natural dyer, a bandhani (Shibori) artist, and an embroiderer, will virtually co-teach the studio craft sessions and coordinate the artisans partnering with students in the co-design segment.

The course is open to those with at least a Junior standing. The course is open to any major, though might be of interest to students in the areas of art, anthropology, design, arts administration, museum studies, South Asian studies, and business/marketing.



Our Kind of Happy Hour: Judy Frater

February 17, 2022 @ 5:30 pm CST
Chazen Museum of Art’s Facebook Page

Join us for a virtual Our Kind of Happy Hour with Judy Frater as she discusses “Embroidery: A Women’s History of Kutch” on the Chazen Museum of Art’s Facebook Page.

Coming Together: Culturally Inspired Creation Talk by Judy Frater

April 14, 2022 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT
206 Ingraham Hall 1155 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI

Judy Frater, spring 2022 interdisciplinary artist-in-residence, will talk about the residency and upcoming exhibition Coming Together: Culturally Inspired Creation.

Coming Together: Culturally Inspired Creation

April 20 – May 27, 2022
Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery 1300 Linden Drive, Madison, WI

This exhibition is a collaboration between traditional textile artisan designers in the Kutch district in northwest India and students enrolled in Judy Frater’s Interdisciplinary Arts Residency course at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. These final works, along with their inspiration object from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, will be on view in celebration of the language of tradition, collaboration, and hand work in textile design.

Coming Together: Culturally Inspired Creation Trunk Show & Exhibition Reception

April 30, 2022 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm CDT
The Link, First Floor, Nancy Nicholas Hall 1300 Linden Drive, Madison, WI

Co-design teams comprising UW–Madison students enrolled in Judy Frater’s spring 2022 Interdisciplinary Arts Residency course and traditional artisans from Kutch, India have worked together this semester to present the exhibition Coming Together: Culturally Inspired Creation and a public trunk show. The work being sold will consist of limited editions of the co-designed textiles as well as pieces designed and produced by the artisans. During this time, the exhibition will be open and there will be a reception. The trunk show is supported by the Global Artisans Initiative.

Public Presentations by Design Studies 527: Global Artisans Students

May 3, 2022 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm CDT
Wisconsin Idea Room, 1199 Nancy Nicholas Hall 1300 Linden Drive, Madison, WI

This semester, students in the spring 2022 Interdisciplinary Arts Residency course with Judy Frater collaborated with traditional weaving, embroidery, block-printing, and bandhani artists from the Kutch district of India. The students look forward to sharing their collaboration experiences throughout this class in a public presentation.