Judith de Graffenried is a professor of Fine Arts and program coordinator for the Department of Fine and Graphic Arts. She earned BA and MAT degrees in German from the University of South Carolina, and an MFA degree in painting from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Upon completing her graduate studies, she received a German Academic Exchange Grant to study at the Art Academy of Munich for two semesters. She also studied painting at Queens College of the City University of New York and Indiana University.
Philosophically, Judith believes the study of art helps develop creative, innovative thinking skills for people in all fields of life. Because the study of art involves the integrated use of all facets of the human sensibility — the rational, analytical, sensory, emotional, and spiritual — all people can benefit.
In her classes, Judith stresses learning life’s many lessons such as discipline and constant practice through the development of highly visible and concrete works of art. Through this dynamic process of creation, students also learn self-reliance, independence, and the necessity of trusting one’s own instincts while coping with ambiguity and failure.
In her own award-winning paintings — cityscapes, gardenscapes, still lifes, and figurative studies — Judith deals with the metaphorical use of space and geometry. In all these works, she establishes a sense of space, juxtaposed against an underlying geometric grid or pattern, creating a construct into which the viewer can project their own interpretations. In her figurative studies, Judith addresses the inherent design principles found in artistic anatomy, as well as the universal energy forms animating these subjects. Recently, she combined her practices in meditation with studies in fluid water-based media. The resulting channeled imagery is developed further in Photoshop or simply left as it emerged on the paper. The spiritual is revealed thus through the physical.
Prior to MxCC, Judith worked for 18 years as a commercial artist providing illustrations for advertisements, textbooks, corporate brochures, and other promotional materials. Her client list included Miller Brewing Company, John Deere, NBC, HBO Cable Network, Paramount, Showtime Cable Network, A&E Cable Network, Oxford University Press, and Cambridge University Press.
As a fine artist, she has exhibited her work in more than 50 national juried exhibitions. Awards from these national competitions include: Best in Show for American Landscapes at the Maryland Federation of Art, Best in Show for the Celebration of the Arts National Juried Exhibition at the Montpelier Center for the Arts, and Strathmore Award for Excellence. She is a member of the Watercolor USA Honor Society.
Judith’s artwork can be seen on her website: https://jdegraffenried.wixsite.com/mysite.
Learn more about the Fine Arts and the Fine Arts/Graphic Design track program here.