Judith Nicolaidis - Biography
Judith Nicolaidis grew up in a working class family in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her early art instruction was limited to what she received in public school; it was a subject she always enjoyed and in which she excelled. After completing high school and three years at the University of Minnesota, she moved to San Diego, California where she completed her Baccalaureate with distinction in art and her Master of Arts degrees at San Diego State University. She then became a Professor of Art at Southwestern College in Chula Vista where she developed the ceramics program and extensive laboratory facility, and where she taught ceramics, photography, drawing, life drawing and life sculpture. She also served as director of the large, regional art gallery on campus.
Judith began her art career as a potter, and gradually evolved into a sculptor. She has been producing and exhibiting her art for forty years. She also produced an acclaimed half-hour video program on “Erik Gronborg, Artist in Clay” that was aired on KPBS. Her first book, THEA, A Collection of Photographs and Quotes, utilizes her skills as a photographer.
Judith’s work is inspired by metaphors and symbols that are often of ancient origin and are drawn from diverse world cultures. A Jungian at heart, she feels that these intuitive attractions are suggested through connections with Universal Consciousness. Much of her work has a numinous dimension that resonates powerfully for the viewer. She uses the human figure, most often female, in combination with symbolic elements to explore and suggest spiritual metaphors. Currently, her growing concern for the condition of our planet has led her to incorporate Earth images into a number of works. The need to experiment has led her to explore multi-media collage.
Living in San Diego, the proximity of Mexico and contact with many Spanish-speaking students gradually became a prominent influence. In 1994, she began to study the Spanish language and travel extensively in Mexico. The twenty foot tall monument, “Guadalupe Arch”, to which she dedicated a year and a half of her life to build in the humble community of Maclovio Rojas in Tijuana, Mexico, is her largest work to date and realizes a dream of creating a cross-border, cross-cultural artwork. Her second book, The Guadalupe Arch, documents this extraordinary endeavor.