Artist Spotlight: Zofia Chrzanowska is only scratching the surface

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, October 15th, 2020 at 4:41 PM
Artist Spotlight: Zofia Chrzanowska is only scratching the surface by Nicholas Constantino
Contributed Photo

Zofia Chrzanowska isn’t just a painter, or skilled in drawing, or a printmaker. She’s a self-published artist and accomplished Edinboro art student.

Let’s just say she’ll have options when graduation day comes.

As a painting major, Chrzanowska stated she is mostly focused on figurative art. “A lot of it is about the relationship between figure and environment; figure and how memory forms.” Her interest in the field began in high school, but it was attending Edinboro University that showed off the career possibilities. Her background is in oil painting, while she’s also interested in air painting.  

In addition to painting, Chrzanowska has since expanded her skillset to included printmaking. She has a love for both, and can now use either depending on the concept. But unlike painting, lithography was not always in Chrzanowska's plans, or as she puts it, the new interest was “very haphazard, almost.” 

According to the artist, there are several different avenues to approach printmaking, each containing its own background. She mainly focuses on etching intaglio, which involves working on a copper plate and drawing the image out of the plate by putting it in acid several times. She also has been working with lithography; this involves “printing with a stone so you get a very nice crisp image, and then you can reproduce it.”  

The technical aspects of printmaking are what inspired Chrzanowska to try it — she expressed interest in learning the various techniques, hoping to both add to her growing bank of knowledge, as well as apply it to the skills she had already picked up. 

Edinboro’s faculty also played an important role in Chrzanowska’s decision to pursue her multiple interests, specifically Bill Mathie and Malcolm Christhilf. She gave credit to the entire painting and print faculty, in fact.  

Chrzanowska’s recent work has focused more on her relationships with others, and “acknowledging and accepting my personal relationships with friends and family and stuff.” Her work has also centered on her own personal reflections regarding relationships and how she can use her art to convey these things to others. 

Right now, Chrzanowska believes she would like to attend graduate school, most likely to pursue a degree in printmaking. She feels she has “just scratched the surface, and I really want to know the history and techniques of it.” 

“So, I really want to go to grad school to keep learning, and then after that I’m open to possibly teaching, or working in a print shop, or being an exhibiting artist,” she said. 

Chrzanowska has begun to get her work out to the world, as well. She was part of two editions of the Chimera art publication at Edinboro. She also self-published two small collections of her paintings, prints, drawings and writing from her semester abroad in Greece, as well as another collection prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. That second collection focused on the relationship between her and her roommates and the events surrounding the pandemic 

Chrzanowska enjoyed her trip abroad, saying, “I think it gave so much more depth to my work and just to the breath of what the art world is and how different artists function in different areas of the world.” She also mentioned that she loves to travel, and she believes experiencing the world is important for both artists and non-artists alike.  

Chrzanowska is self-aware regarding the challenges facing the everyday artist. “I think honestly the biggest challenge is the fact that there’s only 24 hours in a day, and there’s so much to learn, and there’s so much that I want to develop and explore and understand,” she said. “So, every day is just a new day of trying to scramble — time to make art, time to research, time to really dive deep and understand where everyone before me has been, and how I can make my own place in the art world … There’s a lot of challenges, but I think they’re all exciting in a way.” 

Along with her art, Chrzanowska enjoys being a part of the Edinboro community. “The faculty is incredible,” she said. “I know we’re just like a small state school, but our art faculty is incredibly talented and incredibly dedicated to their own work and to the success of their student body.”

You can see more of Chrzanowska's work, including her painting, here.

Nicholas Constantino is a staff writer for The Spectator. He can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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