Gallery Show Features Bold, Experimental Artwork
The fresh, bold and experimental artwork of Zdzislaw Sikora opens the New Year at Alma College’s Flora Kirsch Beck Gallery.
The art show runs from Monday, Jan. 10th through Thursday, Feb. 10th. Admission is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. A gallery reception and talk by Sikora take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10th in the gallery.
A professor at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Sikora is a printmaker who says he enjoys the “constant surprise and discovery” of making art.
Artwork by Zdzislaw Sikora
“You should really have a good time when making art,” says Sikora. “Student artists shouldn’t be so serious; remember to relax a little bit. After you create art for a while, you will have this compulsion for it. It drives you along.”
Studying art is somewhat unusual in Sikora’s family, where traditionally everyone has studied music. His grandmother was an opera singer, his sister is a conductor in New York, and even his daughter today enjoys singing.
“I personally couldn’t stand the idea of being in a little room practicing by myself for five or six years,” he says. “Since I was the kid who could draw, I wanted to be in an open studio with other art students where something is always happening.”
As a result, Sikora ended up studying at the University of Illinois in Chicago, where he says he was lucky to take part in an experimental foundations program with 60 other students and four faculty members.
“There were no grades,” he says. “All you had to do was show up for midterm and final, and you got an A. It was such a rich, magical, open environment. I would walk into the print studio and engage in this wonderful, collaborative mix of crazy people.”
The printmaking environment and the peak of the Chicago Images movement of the 1970s are what he says most inspired him.
“I was too messy to be a designer, I was too stubborn to be an illustrator, and I was too lonely to be a painter,” he says. “So, I became [unconventional] on paper. I did naked bullfighters and very irreverent work. If I got too comfortable with something, the goddess of printmaking slapped me.”
Since finishing graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sikora has been teaching art classes since 1979 in addition to producing his own prints.
Posted: Wed, January 12th, 2011 at 1:14PM