Jan 31

February Art Exhibits- Tracy Gallery: The Paintings of Robin Zagurski

The Paintings of Robin Zagurski

Robin Zagurski is an artist, therapist, and social worker living in Omaha, Nebraska. She beganpainting in 2009 after many years of attending tothe spirits of others and neglecting her own. She initially began working in acrylics, but now works extensively in wax mediums. She enjoys working in cold wax and oil paint for the sheer joy of smooshing paint around. Her works focus on the luminosity of color that can be brought out by the wax when applied to a paper surface. She has found that wax allows for a freedom of experimentation that she had not found in acrylics.

Zagurski’s art has been shown at the Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and at the Niza Knolls Gallery in Denver, Colorado. She has a studio at the Hot Shops in Omaha.

Hinds Gallery: Effects of PTSD Paintings by Elizabeth Boutin

In 2014, I allowed access to a chapter of my life which had been tucked away for years…

From 2003-2006 as a military spouse, one of the many places our family was stationed included Ramstein Air Base in Germany. In 2005 I had the honor of becoming an American Red Cross Volunteer for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. I helped the nurses tend to our soldiers who were wounded during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom, it exposed me to the soldiers’ wounds, both external and internal. Each day I volunteered there were so many faces, so many stories, and so many wounds from too many soldiers. Using a journal helped me cope with my experiences at the hospital. This was my first encounter with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Anxiety, long endless stares, sadness and depression were just a few of countless symptoms witnessed at the hospital.

On November 5th 2010, PTSD became even closer to me than I could ever have imagined. A good Army friend of mine took his life due to PTSD.

To this day, I have friends who suffer from this disease. Soldiers have difficulty after a deployment adapting back into society. They can’t sleep, take numerous medications, drive cautiously to the store, or jump at the slightest sound of a loud noise. They struggle every day.

In 2014 I began to open my journal and display it…on canvas. Effects of PTSD is a series devoted to expressing just that, the effects. The objects used in the painting can be recognized by the viewer, but represent symbolize a deeper meaning. While studying Art History, I was intrigued by an early 17th century genre of still-life paintings in the Netherlands known as Vanitas. These collections of paintings and the objects within held symbolic meaning—some of artwork takes on different meanings; usually the title leads the viewer to these meanings.

The use of oil paint affords a liberality to mix colors and a lengthier drying period. Painting in oil allows me to soften certain areas on the canvas with the help of a soft, dry brush. For this series the use of certain colors are found in all of the paintings. The color Paynes gray is used mainly in backgrounds, so the viewer experiences a more subdued feeling. The color of Payne’s gray, not too bright and not too dark does that, it is, plus it makes the viewer take in what they see in the foreground of the work. Yellow ocher. can be seen in highlights and shading on certain subjects in the paintings, helping to push out the subject within the painting but quietly, not vibrantly. I work with transparency and opacity. I don’t mind having the canvas appear through some of my subject matter, especially in areas requiring the color white, or areas of texture. Letting the brushstrokes be seen mostly in the backgrounds of the paintings, gives a sense of movement.

My time at LRMC will always be a part of me and someday my journal from paper to canvas will be complete.The use of representation and symbolism in my work will continue in my paintings. Becoming an art historian and an artist has enabled me to express my encounters at LRMC and utilize these tools to bring awareness for the audience in my series Effects of PTSD.

Please join us for an Artists’ reception for the February Gallery Shows  it will be held FRIDAY, February 10th, from 5-7 p.m.