Local artist Judy Flores poses for a photo with her mural displayed in the lobby of the Guam Regional Medical City in Dededo on July 1. The batik 12-feet by 28-feet artwork, entitled "Where Patients Are Partners," is fabricated with 53 yards of silk stretched over PVC boards and took three months to paint, said Flores. The total time spent on the project, from winning the commission for the artwork to the installment of the finished piece, spanned over a two year period, she added. Guam PDN 2015
About Dr. Judy S. Flores, Ph.D
KUAM NEWS: Judy Flores shares her love of Guam through art.
Judith (Judy) Selk Flores, PhD, retired in March 2011, after serving as Advisory President and Historian for Historic Inalahan Foundation, Inc., a non-profit Corporation whose mission is to revitalize the Inalahan Historic District. Originally from Colorado, Flores and her family moved to Guam at age eleven when her parents accepted teaching jobs in 1957. The family was the first off-island American family to be housed in the southern village of Inarajan, where Flores grew up immersed in the rich cultural traditions of the village. She learned to speak Chamorro fluently and married into the culture. She and her husband, Juan N. Flores, have two grown children and seven grandchildren.
Artistically inclined from an early age, Judy Flores earned a degree in art education from the University of Guam and taught art in secondary school for ten years. During her early years of teaching she began experimenting with the wax and dye art media of batik, which became her primary medium of artistic expression. Flores used the batik medium to paint vivid impressions of Chamorro cultural scenes and activities that were rapidly disappearing in the 1970s. As she continued her master’s and PhD research, her paintings reflected her increased interest in Chamorro history and cultural values.
In the days before Guam had art galleries, Flores marketed her work through art fairs and through consignments with small gift shops. Her work was often chosen by Guam officials as gifts for visiting dignitaries. As the tourism economy developed, hotels, restaurants, and professional offices commissioned batiks by Flores. The Percent-for-the-Arts law of 1989 required that all public buildings, including hotel properties who received tax exemptions, were required to spend 1 percent on local art. Flores was among several artists who produced large works for the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, which still hang in their lobbies, foyers, and guest rooms. During the 1970s and 1980s a vibrant artistic community flourished through art festivals at Turtle Cove in Yona, Governor Joseph Flores (Ypao Beach)Park in Tamuning, Plaza de Susana in Hagåtña, and Jeff’s Pirates Cove in Talofofo. Flores was a founding member of the Guam Visual Arts Guild, whose members organized the annual Kaleidoscope Weekend of Arts Workshops for over ten years. In 1981, she founded Guahan Art, a student art development organization that encouraged talented young artists to demonstrate, display, and market their work.
She worked with Senator Carmen Kasperbauer’s Legislative Committee on Culture in 1981 on legislation to create the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency (CAHA). She later was invited to join the first Chamorro artists organization, Acha’ot Guahan Siha. She exhibited at the CAHA Gallery, the Creative Hands Exhibit at the University of Guam Isla Center for the Arts, The Guam Gallery of Art, and sold her work through Colorful Creations, a gallery/gift shop. In 2002, Judy Flores’ sister, Amy, opened the Framed, Etc. gallery in Anigua, which features Judy Flores’ original paintings, limited edition prints, and reproductions in cards, books, and glass.
She was the first graduate of the Micronesian Studies Masters Program in 1996, and then began her PhD studies in Arts of Oceania at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. She received her PhD in 1999, whereby her research focused on the Mariana Island Chamorros’ identity through the arts. She continues to assist the revitalization of historic Inalahan through her private efforts as a volunteer.