Julie Abijanac at the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Center

Mark Rothko once said, “A painting is not about an experience. It is an experience.”

This quote not only implies that a work must create an experience for the viewer, but that the artist herself must feel an experience while in the process of a work’s creation, and not just simply illustrate an idea.

So it only makes sense that the Mark Rothko Art Center was established in his native city of Daugavpils, Latvia, in order to foster the creation of artistic experiences.

The Center, located in the 1883 Artillery Arsenal building of the Daugavpils Fortress, aims to promote and preserve artistic values, to establish a dialog between cultures, and to develop a cultural and educational environment in its home and in regions beyond.


Aerial map of the Fortress


And thanks to CCAD’s own faculty member, Julie Abijanac, the “beyond” now includes Columbus.

In 2015 Julie was one of only nine artists accepted into the Center’s II International Textile Art Symposium FORTRESS MAN. The mission of the symposium is to provide textile artists the time and space “to create unique contemporary textile artworks while developing an international communication platform in the field of textile art.” Artists are provided housing, a studio, materials, and some killer scenery.

After a tour of the grounds, artists were able to jump right into studio time. Julie’s time-intensive process involves a myriad of hours cutting paper before constructing elegant, shapely, individual segments. These segments are then carefully brought together to form a paper relief sculpture that is all at once expansive and intricate, still but full of movement. Below, see a gallery of Julie’s process and finished work that was shown at the final symposium exhibition before becoming a part of the Mark Rothko Art Center’s permanent collection.

In addition to a studio and housing, the symposium organizers also provided an extensive amount of publicity, such as with this video. Check out the artists at work, and watch for Julie at the 1:24 mark!

To see more of Julie’s work please visit http://www.julieabijanac.com/

And to learn more about the Mark Rothko Art Center and its residencies please go to http://rotkocentrs.lv/rmc/en

*All photos provided by Julie Abijanac




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s