Demetra Tassiou Panidis Painter and Printmaker
Demetra Tassiou was born and educated in Thessaloniki, Greece. Her parents were from Kozani, her mother was born in Constantinople. At a very young age, she had the opportunity to travel with her family and see great places, observing other landscapes beyond the blue Aegean sea and sky. This experience helped to develop her artistic gift and her imagination.
Demetra received a Bachelor degree in 1980 from the University of the Arts, Athens, Greece, and also came to Philadelphia in 1980. She married Dr. John Panidis. She received a Master of Arts degree in Print Making in 1995 from the University of Pennsylvania.
She became involved with the Greek community as she sought to introduce her two sons to their Greek heritage. She worked as a teacher for eleven years with the Aristotle Academy, teaching Greek-American children Greek language, History and Art. For ten years she was involved with the St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church teaching Sunday School, and with the Philoptochos as part of organizing their annual fund-raising drives. She feels fortunate through her involvement to have made friends and shared her Greek heritage with the younger Greek-American generation.
At the same time, Demetra was developing an artistic career by participating with solo shows or group shows in Old City, Philadelphia, at colleges, museums, in New York and at international shows.
An art critic has characterized her work, “For Demetra Tassiou, ‘abstract and elemental movement’ is at the center of the artistic process. That movement covers a wide range: from the currents of the sea and sky to the movement of bodies like planets as they course through outer space. Working in a palette dominated by shades of blue, the artist sharply captures the qualities of air and water in her images, creating a backdrop that feels at once peaceful and powerfully dynamic. Incorporating shapes that mimic the rhythms and forms of nature as well as assemblages that are a cornucopia of disparate elements, Tassiou makes her works reflections of both the external world and her internal thoughts and ideas.”
“A printmaker as well as a painter, the artist combines her two specialties to great effect. Working in oils and acrylics on wood panel, and also using etched paper and collagraphs, she gives each piece an active, multi-layered surface, adding a level of energy to her elegantly balanced compositions. The resulting works bring what the artist calls her ‘imaginative reconnections with nature’ powerfully to life.”