Sunday, March 22, 2020

"Origin, Voyage, Dreams"
solo exhibition
Lewis University
February 3-March 20, 2020
Artist Reception and Gallery Talk February 20, 2020

With my two solo exhibitions in January and February, my 2020 artistically and career-wise started with a bang. Little did I know, a few weeks ago, that the whole world would soon be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, and, as is the case for us here in Illinois right now, that I would be in a "shelter-in-place" situation. 

Hopefully, these new regulations will slow down and diminish the impact of the virus spreading, however, we sure are all taken by this strange and uncertain situation and can expect many losses to come in many forms.

As for myself, I can only say - this past week greatly affected my ability to work, and I hope I will find a way to carve out more studio time in the days to come. Both of my boys, like all children here, are now homebound, and it is challenging to keep them occupied and stress-free, and also on top of their school assignments (!) while keeping up my studio practice. I have, for the past week for sure, been mainly a caregiver, a loving parent, and a supportive spouse. 

The arts have the power to transform and transcend. I hope my work engages the viewers in a positive and calming way and brings solace to a burdened mind, and that I find ways to create my work, regardless of the challenges. 

So with the topic of art in mind - I will focus on the things I actually CAN do, not on those that I can't. And I hope you do the same.

Starting with writing here a bit about my solo exhibition at Lewis University, which was a wonderful experience, and I am still sharing the images of it daily on Instagram, though the exhibit itself was closed, together with the entire university. 

I would like to thank Gallery Coordinator Natalie Swain and Professor Mark Swain for all their help with this exhibition.

The beautiful Wadsworth Family Gallery consists of three separate rooms, so this gave me an amazing opportunity for installing work from several series, without clashing different moods and color palettes.

I included works from my Blush Nebula, Origin, Trail to Arcadia, Reef and Migration series.

I had a great opportunity of sharing stories about the artwork in this particular exhibition, as well as my studio practice in general, during the opening night talk, with a large audience of Lewis University students, teachers, and friends. It was also an honor to meet and talk about the exhibition with the Lewis University president, Dr. David J. Livingston.

Here are images of the "Origin, Voyage, Dreams" exhibit at Wadsworth Family Gallery, courtesy of Tanya Lunina.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Arrowhead Room, Waubonsee Community College, Sugar Grove, IL
January 10-February 11, 2020

Here are some more images from my solo exhibition at the Arrowhead Room of Waubonsee Community College. What a wonderful audience at my talk and I must say I had a blast doing a workshop with students. The title of the workshop was Mark Making: The duality of freedom and control, and I wanted to put an emphasis on freedom. We were using walnut ink and a dip pen for our marks (I created a piece of my own as well), and the drawings were subsequently all connected into one singular horizontal work, similar to the concept of "Exquisite Corpse".  

above: "In Search of Arcadia", watercolor on paper 95"x55", 2020 and "Gathering", ceramic installation 2010-2020

above:"Gathering", ceramic installation, 2010-2020 ongoing project

"Migration", series, watercolor and ink on wooden panel, 2020

*All the above images courtesy of Tonia Whitlock

Friday, January 10, 2020

Arrowhead Room @ Waubonsee College,
Dickson Center, Sugar Grove, IL

Exhibition dates:  Friday, January 10 – Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Monday, February 3rd, 11am
Viewing hours:
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 Today is the first official day of my exhibition at the Arrowhead Room at Waubonsee. I had an exciting week installing this exhibit with much help there from Cecilia Vargas, Janice Rodriguez, and Jackie Gramillo. Seeing the work removed from my studio space, in a new context, makes me experience it almost as if I were seeing it for the first time. 
 In this exhibition, titled “Migration/In Search of Arcadia” I wanted to focus on my experience of moving from one continent and country to another. After living in the United States for sixteen years, I finally became a US citizen in October 2019.
  Physically relocating from my home country, Croatia, to becoming a US citizen may seem like it took years, but it is actually a journey that will continue throughout the course of my lifetime.
Moving from one's native home and culture to another culture entails a continuous search for self-identity, as well as a sense of longing for what's understood and familiar. It also means coming to terms with a constant feeling of change, facing the unfamiliar and relearning daily.  This tension of the familiar/unfamiliar, or of being in control vs. the lack of control is at the core of my art practice. Through the process of creating I investigate the inner realms of self and the longing for what is old and familiar, yet I place it in a new context, never replicating any readily identifiable aspects of my heritage. The mark-making becomes a journal, placing this longing into a new context. This creates an alternative reality, one that speaks a universal language.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

10th Anniversary at Water Street Studios
September 13-October 5, 2019
 Impromptu I and II, watercolor on panel, 36"x24"
Last Friday was the opening reception and 10th-year Anniversary celebration of Water Street Studios. Water Street was my studio home for several years, before my family settled in the Fox Valley area permanently, and before we purchased a house that accommodated a studio space.

WSS is a lovely art non-profit in the Western suburbs of Chicago and has been home to many resident artists for the past ten years since it's inception. Artists here are able to connect with other artists and the community, as well as show their work through various exhibiting opportunities. The organization offers a rich selection of classes, workshops, and hosts numerous art-related events.
 I have made many lifelong friends here.