I create highly colorful sculptures from a combination of discarded or low-end materials such as found-on-the-street styrofoam, old paint mixing palettes, and bits of foam board and paper from my studio floor. This "trash" has a colorful and conceptually significant history: the materials have been used in the past, either by others, or by me; some materials may be years old, parts of failed sculptures that have been set aside for future use; timing is essential as I don't utilize my saved materials until I have an understanding of their value. My primary interest is in how the mundane or cast away can be made into something jewel-like, beautiful and special while transcending the particular and approaching the universal.

My late grandmother, Babcia, was an immigrant from Western Ukraine where my mother was born. She spent many years living in Poland with the family until coming to Newark, NJ in the 1960’s. My mother told me that when my grandmother was a young girl, her family owned a business, she rode horses, had a seamstress, and someone even braided her hair! During the war, her family lost everything and was very poor.

My Babcia had to become very resourceful to survive which is one of the qualities I most admire about her. She could take any old scraps in her refrigerator and cook up a delicious soup on request; clothes that didn’t fit came back to life with minor alterations; embroidered tablecloths and doilies spruced up the saddest furniture. Despite being frugal, she was also very generous. Everything she created made those around her feel special.

These admirable qualities are my artistic heritage from my Babcia. We both create beauty and nourish our bodies through our creative activities. I often think when I am in the studio that the scraps of foam core, with their random shapes and accidental drips of paint, that I use in my art, are as nourishing as the bits of carrots, beets, and onion skins used in making Babcia’s soups.
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