Rettner Hall, Rochester, NY 14611
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On October 10th two visual and performing artists from Poland will visit the University of Rochester to host participatory public art activism projects (10am-12pm), deliver artist talks (5:30-6:30), and discuss their work during an opening reception (6:30-7:30). Details about the artists are below this, followed by specific event information. These events were organized by SBAI Associate Academic Director, Tanya Bakhmetyeva, and sponsored by the Humanities Project and the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies.

About the artists:
Monika Drożyńska is an artist and activist from Krakow, Poland. Working with hand embroidery and fabric, she focuses on socially engaged art in public spaces. Her work has been exhibited in the Zachęta National Gallery of Art, the Center for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle, the Contemporary Museum in Wrocław, Mumok in Vienna, Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Bozar in Brussels, the Bunkier Sztuki collection at the National Museum in Krakow, and in the Museum of Contemporary Art Mocak in Krakow. She has held a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and was a participant in the Visegrad Artist Residency Program. Drożyńska is a winner of several national competitions, including Bodybuilder of Program 3 of the Polish Radio and Kulturalne Odloty, "Gazeta Wyborcza." She is the founder of the Golden Hands: An Embroidery School for Ladies and Gentlemen.

Cecylia Malik is a painter, performer, activist, and educator living in Kraków. Her work has developed in close collaboration with scientists and local communities. It blends artistic practice with ecological campaigns and social activism. Her most important projects include Iconostasis Miasto, Concert at Mr. Żul (Galeria Zderzak Kraków), 365 Trees, and 6 Rivers. Together with Justyna Koeke, she created and executed the following projects: Smolekńsk 22/8 Street and Modraszek Kolektyw (an action in defense of the Krakow Zakrzówek Landscape Park, which united many Krakow environments, gained wide media coverage and significantly influenced the city's decisions about protecting green areas. 

Participatory Art Event:
Monika Drożyńska will present a socially engaged art piece “Urban Embroidery,” inviting passers-by to participate in creating a piece “3,5%” – an embroidered banner to be displayed in the SBAI space.

Cecylia Malik will present a similarly socially engaged piece “Genesee Braids” (after her earlier project “Bialka’s Braids”) inviting passers-by to braid fabric together creating several long braids evocative of the waters of the Genesee and meant to call attention to protecting local rivers.


Artist Talks and reception:

October 10th, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Hawkins-Carlson Room and Humanities Center, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester

Monika Drożyńska
"Disappearance of Monuments"
This exhibition consists of a series of about 40 postcards from the 1960s to the 1980s, acquired at the outdoor flea market Hala Targowa, in Krakow and representing street views from various Polish cities.

Cecylia Malik
"365 Trees" is a socially engaged art, a performance in public space, and photography) “Starting from September 25, 2009, I climbed one tree a day for a year. This is how an extraordinary series of 365 trees was created, inspired by the novel by Italo Calvino from 1957 "Tree Baron."

"Polish Mothers on Stumps" Malik combines the aesthetics of a protest with a purely artistic performance on the verge of a photo reportage and an arranged, surreal situation. This project is a reaction towards a legislative amendment resulting in countrywide mass logging.

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