Born in Budapest, Hungary, in the late sixties, Gizella Nyquist was raised in a society and family that did not place a high value on freedom of expression or art. In fact, the communist society highly discouraged people from being different. Though it wasn’t her ultimate calling, she studied mathematics at ELTE University of Arts and Sciences, and chose a career as a high-school math teacher.
Gizella’s life was set in motion as a teacher, but it was not set in stone. In 1992, she made a leap of faith and moved to the United States of America – Boston, MA. She stayed there just long enough to learn English. Gizella started teaching younger children, which she continued in Colorado, her home for fifteen years. This is where she and her husband were blessed with their long awaited baby girl, who they often refer to as their “miracle child”.
Her new environment, as well as her beloved daughter inspired her to see many things differently. She discovered an interest in technology, including web and magazine design. She also recognized the need for quality photo illustrations and found a calling with digital photography. It allowed her to capture the world around her, and manipulate the images to match them to the vision in her mind.
Gizella moved to Irvine, Southern California with her husband Mark, and their daughter Nora in 2012. Here she works with new scenery, exploring details and movements within designs. Unexpected scenes materialize in front of her camera, expressing themselves as beaches, wilderness parks, tree giants, striking birds, as well as decaying structures, each of them with their own bold personalities. Her current interest is mostly in nature photography, and her goal is to show other people the – often hidden – beauties of the world.
She wanted to deepen her knowledge about photography. First, Gizella self-studied from books and videos on many topics, later she studied Photoshop and Fine Art Photography at a local institution, Calumet University. She also took a few classes at two local colleges where she acquired new, in-depth printing skills.
During 2013 Gizella had six images from her “Hidden Within” thematic displayed at a show, and The Legacy Project group chose two of her “Former El Toro Airbase” works to include at the Orange County Great Park‘s show entitled “A Different Point of View”. Her “Little Corona del Mar” image was on exhibit at the Irvine Fine Arts Center’s “All Media 2013” show.
Gizella dedicates volunteer time at her daughter’s school. During 2012-2016 her camera captured the daily school life for the yearbook. She also organized a PTA sponsored art competition (Reflections) for students. Some of Gizella’s school event related images were featured in the Orange County Register, and one of her photos of a historical town in Hungary was highlighted in the town’s monthly periodical.
Gizella enjoys cooking (mostly traditional Hungarian cuisine), and gardening. She also uses her free time to further educate herself both in the art fields as well as many other areas; she is a lifelong learner.
Gizella is interested in many photographic topics, but the two that stand out the most are nature and (non-contemporary) architecture photography. Gizella feels a special connection with nature, and she seeks out the often hidden and beautiful details that many people might not see. Since she grew up in an over 1,000 year old country, Gizella was surrounded by beautiful examples of the previous centuries’ architecture. During her summer vacations she basically gets lost in the grand city of Budapest (and other places as well), and records her birth country’s history built in stone, always searching for hidden gems and details. Around her current home, Irvine, she has been successful in locating and photographing aging or decaying buildings, like the former El Toro Airbase hangars.
If you asked Gizella who influenced her art, she would mention fellow photographers Ron Clifford (who was her first mentor), Bob Killen, Trey Ratcliff, Alan Shapiro, Brooke Shaden and the members of The Legacy Project.
Gizella’s artistic mission is to make people stop and recognize the special moments in the present that too often just slip away. With her artwork she wants to show her audience a different view of the world that surrounds us.
“Learn from YESTERDAY, live for TODAY, hope for TOMORROW.”
– Albert Einstein