Building 5, Studio 503
Bio: Born in Baltimore, MD, Julia Dzikiewicz is now a Virginia resident who maintains her studio practice at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton.
Julia Dzikiewicz earned a BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA), then continued her studies in painting at the Corcoran College of Art + Design (Washington, DC), the Torpedo Factory Arts Center (Alexandria, VA), and R & F Handmade Paints (Kingston, NY).
Dzikiewicz’s work has won numerous awards and has been selected for regional, national and international juried exhibits. She has presented recent solo shows at Larkin Arts , BlackRock Center for the Arts ,TAG gallery and Artworks Gallery. She is represented in Virginia by Gallery 75 and Building 5 Gallery.
Dzikiewicz also has also applied her talents to storyboards, production (art) design and camera work for the short films “The Critic,” “Flowers for Daniel” and “Silent Sentinel,” produced by Crimes of the Arts Films. http://crimesoftheart.com/
Background: Julia Dzikiewicz was born in Maryland and has lived in Virginia almost ever since. Dzikiewicz works exclusively in the medium of encaustic, using it to paint, to print, to construct three-dimensional objects and to create works of art of politics, power and intimacy. She comes from a family of political activists. Her mom marched for the Equal Rights Amendment, boycotted grapes to support farm workers and organized clinics to help the poor. Her father, a man who loved bad jokes, instilled in her a sense of comedy. Thus her paintings often look at modern events with a dash of mild humor.
Influences: Dzikiewicz’s art reflects an interest in history and the depiction of suffering in art. Byzantine and Christian iconography often guide her work, and shares the same interest in encaustic surfaces, flattened perspective, suffering figures, and heroes and monsters. Cast wax objects, raised encaustic prints, metals, screws, and electric lights bring a modern edge to the paintings. When completed, the work is sculptural, highly colored, and intensely personal.
Artistic philosophy: I didn’t have much of an opinion on history classes as a child—they never seemed relevant to my life. After all, history was the tale of men: great men, awful men, and men who walked the grey in between. Women, on the other hand, well … they existed primarily in references to wives named “Martha,” with any real significance left off the page.
History didn’t connect with me until five years ago, when I rented a studio and started painting at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia. This arts center used to be called the Occoquan Workhouse until prison beds were carted out and drywall carried in. The place has so much history that it has its own museum.
Suddenly I was putting brush to canvas in the same place that suffragists refused to put fork to mouth, where they engaged in hunger strikes that swayed the opinion of a nation and won them—won me—the right to vote. While some men were allies in the movement, women led, women fought; women undeniably filled the history books.
Thus, I began a series of large and small paintings honoring the suffragists. As time went on, I expanded the series to include modern women who used protest to advance women’s rights, or women who tried to break glass ceilings.
The power of art is only partially held in what viewers see on the canvas. The true power is in changing how viewers see the rest of their lives. In my encaustic paintings, layering wax like the accumulation of history, I seek to remind women and girls of their potential to change the world.