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.
Judy at work in her studio...
L to R: Daughter/Sandra F. Uslander, Dr. Judy S. Flores, Husband/Juan N. Flores, and Son/ Samuel J. Flores.
United Airlines Magazine: "Hemispheres" featured Guam - February 2015 issue. Click below to read more!
Judy's Batiks are also featured in the "Island Art: At the Guam Hilton" book cover below, and are showcased in the Jr. Executive Suites of the Guam Hilton Resort & Spa, 1993.
See the featured pages from the book, above!
KUAM NEWS: Judy talks about, the monthly, "Ginen i Tano'/From the Land, Street Festival" in Inalahan, back in November 2012.
Dr. Judy Flores on Vimeo!
KUAM News - I Estoria-Ta ("Our Story")
KUAM News - Tourism Works: Dr. Judy Flores
The Guam Museum - Press Release.
HITA: Presentations with a Purpose.
Held on Saturday, April 22nd, as one of the two guest speakers, it was Judy's hope to generate some interesting discussions about, the past and present of Chamorro ornamentation.
In early December, Dr. Judy Flores was a guest speaker for a 5 day conference with Dr. Kyoko Nakayama at Teikyo and Chuo University in Tama, Japan. Dr. Judy shared her love of our Chamorro Culture, Language, and her Batik Art with the University Students there. The University students fully immersed themselves and have learned to speak, dance, and share their knowledge of our culture and island.
Un Dangkulu na Si Yu'us ma'ase to Dr. Kyoko, and her students, for loving our Chamorro culture, language, and our island!
If you'd like to learn more about what, Dr. Kyoko and her university students are learning, visit them here on facebook.
"A Year on the Island of Guam 1899-1900"
by Jillette Leon Guerrero, Illustrated by Judy Selk Flores.
Hard cover with jacket, full-color, size 8.5x 10.5, 255 pages
This book just received the prestigious, 2018 IPPY Gold Medal Award!!
Congratulations to Jillette Leon Guerrero!
If you would like to purchase a copy,
you can go to the link below for Guamology's website
Or if your on island, visit Framed, Etc. in Hagatna.
K57 Talk Radio Interview between Patti Arroyo, Judy Flores and Mary San Agustin about the House of Chamorro in Balboa Park, San Diego, California.
AN OCEAN OF KNOWLEDGE CONFERENCE
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE OCTOBER 2017
DR JUDY FLORES
"FINDING THE WAY HOME"
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
FestPac is important
The Guam Daily Post or
Guam Pacific Daily News
Printed: December 3, 2019
I grew up in Inalåhan in the 1950s when historical knowledge was limited to the celebration of our American heritage, where we studied American heroes such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The CHamoru people were proud of their Spanish heritage, where white skin and long noses were signs of beauty. Ancient times were referred to as “tiempon antis de mannungu’ hit” or the time before we had knowledge. Schools celebrated international cultures instead of our own CHamoru culture. In sixth grade, our CHamoru principal taught our class a short hula dance where we wore muumuu dresses and kept rhythm with bamboo whisks while a hula-trained classmate danced to the tune of “My Little Brown Gal”. During family parties, old people danced the batsu and sotis while we youngsters giggled at them. The jukebox at the store next door played Elvis Presley singing “Teddy Bear”, and jitterbug was the favorite dance of the teenagers. We were becoming very Americanized, turning our attention to the “mainland” U.S.A.; no longer connected to our fellow Pacific Islanders.
The rise of minority and indigenous rights reached our shores in the 1970s, and the renaissance of CHamoru pride flourished. The most visible manifestations of CHamoru cultural pride were expressed in the arts. Re-created “ancient” CHamoru dance began in the 1980s. By this time, I was working as a folklorist at Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency. While identifying, documenting and promoting CHamoru traditional arts and practitioners I became aware of an exciting grassroots movement that helped youngsters learn their ancient history and culture through dance, and to feel pride in their heritage. Through many interviews with early practitioners of re-created CHamoru art, I learned that they were influenced by indigenous people they had met while attending schools in the states. They were bringing these inspirations back to our island and were challenging us to look at our own history and culture.
The Festival of Pacific Arts or FestPac began under the South Pacific Commission in 1972. Our governor’s office had sent representative artists through Pacific community invitation. However, we were so out of touch with our indigenous heritage that we often sent modern dance or colonial-influenced musicians to represent us. It took us years to reconnect a meaningful relationship with our Pacific brothers and sisters. FestPac was the main inspiration and conduit that reunited us with our Pacific heritage! Our successful hosting of FestPac 2016 shows that the dedication, creativity and hard work of our artists has given Guam back its cultural heritage. How different would our tourism marketing be today if not for this renaissance! Today our dances, songs, chants and visual arts connect us back to our ancient heritage, before colonization. Every four years, FestPac serves as a touchstone and a verification that we are, indeed, Pacific Islanders! Our artists thrive on representation at FestPac. They have given meaning to our continued existence as a people. They deserve their place and the support of their government to travel there.
Judy Flores is a folklorist, historian, artist, and member of CAHA board of directors.
Want to read the article as it appeared in print? Click one of the links below!