Joy A Wulke
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1948 - 2014
Joy Wulke, environmental artist, educator and public art advocate, died on February 25, 2014 at Connecticut Hospice in Branford after a seven-month battle with cancer. She was 65.

Born in San Bernardino, CA on May 23, 1948 and raised in Long Beach, Joy earned a BA in Architecture from Washington State University in 1970 and a Masters of Environmental Design from Yale in 1974. She was an American Institute of Architects Associate member, the owner of Joy Wulke Studio of Art & Design and founder of Projects for a New Millennium (Projects2K), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the fusion of art and science as means of ecological stewardship. She had held teaching positions at Yale, RISD, Montana State and the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland, and was a continuing Advisory Council member for the School of Architecture and Design at Washington State.

Joy said that she "thrived on collaboration and community interaction, and strove to create works of wonder". In her early career she specialized in fabric playscape designs, bringing teachers, parents and children together through the power of creative thinking. She continued to focus on educational and collaborative art throughout her career, creating art and science programs at the Peabody Museum and Barnard Environmental Magnet in New Haven, CT.

Joy's later photographic and sculptural works explored the environment and light as both materials and subjects. A collection of her studies on abandoned schoolhouses and landscapes in Montana, entitled "The Great Alone", are in the permanent collection at Yale's Beineke Library. In her public art works, she manipulated light through fabric, steel, glass and LED, transforming their surrounding spaces. From the atrium of the San Francisco Jewish Community Center to the façade of the Stamford Metro-North Railroad Station, Joy conveyed a sense of beauty and place. Her largest scale projects, multisensory performances with Projects2k, filled the Stony Creek Quarry in CT with light, lasers, sound and fire.

Joy's work has appeared in The New York Times, New Media Art, Interiors, Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, Sculpture and LA Architect. She received three Connecticut Arts Fellowships, a New England Foundation on the Arts Artist Grant and a 2013 Arts Award from the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. Her sculptural commissions span the country and include work for the Louisiana World's Fair, the World Trade Center, the Lincoln Center Film Forum and the American Bar Association.

Just as her love of the water and the earth inspired her artistic collaborators, her creativity, passion, grace and fabulous cooking enriched the lives of her friends and family. Joy will be sorely missed by her husband David Connell of Stony Creek, CT, her daughter Gioia Connell of New Haven, CT, her sister Janice Wulke of Long Beach, CA, her Cousin Marleta Warneke Garner of Los Osos, CA and countless friends. A memorial is planned for early summer near her home in Branford, CT.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in New York Times from Mar. 3 to Mar. 4, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
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35 entries
February 26, 2020
We all loved her. Such a talent and friend
Maureen Wilkinson
February 25, 2019
Dear David and Gioia - I cant believe its been five years already. Every time I pass the train station in Stamford seeing it lit up in design I think of Joy. I remember her brilliant mind her good heart and her exceptional artistry . Please know she lives on in my heart and that I miss you both. Xo ❤
Suzan Shutan
June 29, 2014
I just came from Terra Tractus, June 28th, 2014. I never met Joy Wulke, but what a fabulous light/design show. She must have been a very talented and special woman. She will be missed. My loss to have never met her.
Christine Babini
June 9, 2014
I am heartbroken... I was buying a ticket for Terra Tractus when I saw the mention "as a memorial"--thought I had misread but... I met Joy only once but found her to be an extraordinary person exuding so much gentleness; I was invited to visit her but never followed up. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa... A regretful omission. Terra Tractus will be a soothing celebration of a great, artful lady. Bless her soul and may she rest in peace.
May 31, 2014
We all said goodbye to Joy at her Memorial Service this morning. All gathered at the church this gorgeous SPring/Summer Day. There must have been 300 people there. Joy was remembered and honored by many and we all will miss her terribly. Love to David and Gioia as they struggle with this loss--but will find the strength to move forward. Lots of Love--Christine Ingraham and Greg Spiggle
May 31, 2014
I knew Joy when I first started to work at Yale, she was a student in the Felix Drury studio, was so alive with ideas for three dimensional art for kids. She also worked with my sister in Glasgow, who admired her wonderful work. I will miss the life that she gave to everyone.
Bob Frew
April 25, 2014
Joy visited us a couple of years ago; we had a delightful reunion. She has been a true friend since 1970, and we are saddened by the news. Our condolences to her family. Siegfried Ising & Joe Taylor.
Siegfried Ising
April 25, 2014
Joy was a fellow member of Women of Innovation and I always looked forward to her smiling face at events. Her passion to create art using technology for the public, inspired many and made people happy. She will be missed.
Phoebe Browning
April 24, 2014
I remember Joy and our friendship beginning in Montana, in the beauty of the McFarland White Ranch. She was a true colleague and loyal friend. I will miss her vital spirit at work in the world.
Page Allen
April 23, 2014
Joy, wisdom and tenacity leveled her imaginative go-getter attitude.
Fernando Luis Alvarez
April 23, 2014
I just learned of her passing. My heart is so saddened. I hope that the hole that has been left behind will be filled with the light from those who loved her. Joy, you brought life, love and art to me and my student's lives. Thank you. My condolences to your family.
linda burke
April 13, 2014
I am deeply saddened by Joy's passing. She was a magical person with a radiant brilliance. My father, David, was enamored by Joy and her art. We are very fortunate to have her beautiful artwork in the David Bermant Foundation collection - pieces that will forever show her sparkle and beauty. We will miss her.
Andrew Bermant
March 18, 2014
Public Art @ Manchester Community College in CT. 2012.
A powerful ~ and yet gentle spirit. Blessed to have met you Joy!! You will be missed. Although your legacy lives on in your public art installations. My condolences to Joy's family and good friends. Blessings ~
Joan Warnick
March 11, 2014
Joy was a joy, always with a twinkle and sometimes a sly smile. She was both fun and responsible, a creative, good person. Our paths crossed in many different ways whether it was making prints together, discussing projects, sharing work, shaking our heads at the world. The texture of my life is thinner now she is not a part of it -- as it is for the many people who love her. I hope that David and Gioia will take sustenance from all the words of friends for their sense of her absence is the deepest of us all.
Christina Spiesel
March 10, 2014
Joy : a vision floating through space ever gently ever tall always warm and refreshing--a California girl! I will remember her magnetic energy, light, and beauty. My deepest sympathies to her family.
Jeanne Criscola
March 8, 2014
We danced in front of the light she made, her images and sculpture shook us with their elegant beauty. Blessings of strength to her family and friends, peace to her spirit...
Lisa Spetrini
March 7, 2014
It is difficult to find the right words to express the sadness I have.. Joy was like her name - a joy to the world,and a Joy to have as a friend. A terrible loss, she had e too much to offer to go so soon. We will miss her.
Harriet Caldwell
March 7, 2014
Dear David and Goia--It is only a few hours ago that I learned of Joy's passing and although I am deeply saddened by the thought I can only smile when I think of her and Allan being together once again to create and collaborate on designing beautiful things for the universe. Know that I share your sorrow. Luanne Dehar
Luanne Dehar
March 7, 2014
Joy was an inspiration. She was a generous spirit who engaged and enlightened the community and artists alike. She was a loyal friend. She will be deeply missed.
Susan Farricielli
March 6, 2014
To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.
~Thomas Campbell, "Hallowed Ground"
You are in my heart Joy.
Robbin Zella
March 6, 2014
Joy , a force of creativity, was an inspiration as an artist, mother, friend with whom I shared a connection that seemed to transcend time and place, (we didn't meet "meet for coffee" enough) knowing she was out there in the world taking that creative risk. That presence is missed.
Joanne Willliams
March 5, 2014
Gioia, David , family and friends
Joy's infinate love for light (inner, reflective, and ethereal), socially engaged work( quarry and all her public art projects) and all that is nautical ( think mermaids and mythology) has left a lasting impression influencing so many of us. She is the embellishment of her work. She was a great friend and will be sorely missed. Her loss is our loss . Sending loving condolences.
Suzan Shutan
March 5, 2014
I worked with Joy on a public art piece In New Britain CT. She was one if a kind
Phil Barlow
March 5, 2014
Joy was a wonderful artist and will be missed.
Rita Valley
March 5, 2014
I first met Joy Wulke in 1985 when I opened an art gallery in New Haven. Joy was the first artist in the door with a portfolio in hand. This image will bring a smile to the face of those who knew her intensity, her professionalism and her drive and dedication to the vision she crafted and tweaked over her long career. She was funny and warm and smart. She could be in many places at one time, she could charm and cajole and smile her way through the most challenging tasks. She was a wild thing! She leaves an empty space.
Linda Lindroth
March 5, 2014
Joy was a delight to know
maureen wilkinson
March 5, 2014
Dearest Gioia and David,
Sending healing thoughts to you both for Joy's passing. She was a creative spirit and a generous soul. We were all fortunate to be in her orbit. May she continue to create on her next journey. We all miss her. Her spirit continues to live on in so many ways.
Sending love to you both,
Fern Berman
March 4, 2014
Joy apprpropriately named...took us on flights of unimaginable vision that sprang from her fertile mind. Thanks for the ride.
Donna Doherty
March 4, 2014
Joy will always be an inspiration to all of us.
eileen eder
March 4, 2014
I will miss Joy's creativity and kindness. What a great loss to our community. I send much love and sympathy to Gioia and David.
Laura Barr
March 4, 2014
Gioia and David
You are in my thoughts. Joy will be missed by all of us lucky enough to have known her
Margie Haggerty
March 4, 2014
Elevated intellect, soaring spirit, Joy reached us all so warmingly and well.
Tony Reveaux
March 4, 2014
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Thom and Ela Brown
March 4, 2014
Joy was a delight to know and work with. She will be truly missed
Not only was she a guilted arrest, she was a loving person. Joy will be missed.
Leslie Ann powers
March 4, 2014
Dearest Goia and David,

Here in France, I only learned this morning, from a friend, why Joy hadn't answered any emails since late January. I'm so sorry. Like you, I will miss her terribly. I send you my love and
condoléances in your sadness.

Julia Frey
Julia Frey
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