13 December 2010

Artist spotlight: studio visit with Julia Dzikiewicz

Julia Dzikiewicz: “Ms. Stevens visits Ms. Paul” Mixed media encaustic,  50"x30"
Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Julia Dzikiewicz's studio at Workhouse Center for the Arts. Julia paints in encaustic, spending months building up layers of pigmented wax. The result is luminous colors & textures, which she puts to work to send a message of freedom and equality. Her current work explores the history of American suffragists, the women who fought for voting rights. 
Julia writes,
"As a woman artist with a studio at the Workhouse Arts Center, a former prison, my work reflects upon the Suffragettes who were sent here. They were force-fed, put into solitary confinement and sleep deprived for demanding the right to vote. I often wonder how they awakened to the idea that they deserved basic human rights, in a time where this was considered absurd.  These paintings combine images of women from that era, portraits of figures in the suffrage movement, and icons of their oppression and their struggle for freedom."
Julia Dzikiewicz: "Awake" Encaustic, 14"x42"
Julia has been making political work for the past ten years. The seriousness of her political message is made more inviting by her playful style and sense of humor: one deceptively humorous picture depicts a suffragist bleeding psychadelic-colored paint from the nose. The sculptural additions to the frame à la Jasper Johns include the feeding tube that the imprisoned suffragist was force-fed with to counter her hunger strike. Other paintings incorporate zombies and dinosaurs into the stories.

Julia has exhibited widely in Virginia and elsewhere. Earlier bodies of work include meditations on global warming and 9/11. Visit her website to learn more, and check out the Workhorse Center.

Julia Dzikiewicz: "Martyr and Hero" Mixed media

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