Kathy Wosika

Kathy WosikaMy love for clay began in 1968 on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. To this day, I most enjoy creating functional objects with rich surface collages in inlaid colored clays and slips. My imagery is a mix of abstract plants, labyrinths, playful lines and shapes as well as ancient signs and symbols. Whether in clay or fibers, I like to work visually much like the writer or poet, who jots down a phrase, or sentence … a thought, idea, feeling or image … and then she puts it aside for a while. There is a certain “coming together” that inevitably seems to happen in the quiet passing of time. My work with paper pulps has been a channel to a very dear intimacy with the spirit of this amazing, vibrating, living environment we all share. Paper pulp is a material that is alive … it can go from fresh to sour if not used in its own time. After peeling bark from a mulberry or fig branch to make paper, I hold in my hands those smooth, newly peeled, bone-like sticks–glistening and creamy white.
I can’t help but feel grateful for this quiet yet thrilling connection … an intimate andKathy Wosika renewed sense of ALIVE! I’ve explored ideas with handmade paper and fibers for over 30 years. My current work seeks to discover connections with paper and its sources as well as its kindred spirits–natural materials that are paper-like: fragile but tough, fibrous, thin, with a certain crackle and sturdiness, often translucent … and sewable! On a daily basis, I find myself collecting these bits of nature (flower petals and leaves mostly) gathered from the yard or from the endless indoor flower bouquets brought in from the garden. A trip to Carmel, CA yielded a whole bag of papery jelly fish called By the Wind Travelers, which had recently blown up on the beach. These collections of papery bits mark time and place in an ongoing, rhythmic way and slowly find their way into visual works that I hope communicate and celebrate an ongoing interaction with these blessings of nature.
Kathy Wosika studied music and art at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana from 1966-1970 and completed her B.A. and M.A. in Art with an emphasis in Craft Media at California State University, San Diego in 1974. Since 1975 she has taught Textile Design, Hand Papermaking, Ceramics, 3 Dimensional Design and Art Appreciation at Fresno City College. From 1985 – 91, Kathy developed and taught a class called “Artreach,” in which Fresno City College students learned selected fiber art workshops. Then, as a teaching team, they brought these workshops to local elementary school classrooms, grades 1 – 6. For more than 36 years, at Fresno City College, she has arranged more than 25 guest artists workshops, lectures and/or exhibits.
Kathy’s clay and fiber art work has been shown in numerous juried and invitational exhibits. both nationally and internationally. Her work is represented in Fiberarts Design Books 3 & 4 (Lark Publications, 1988 and 1991). During April and May of 1993, she had a solo exhibit and residency at the Fresno Art Museum. Recent solo exhibits include:
2012, March Art Space Gallery, Fresno CA The Spiritual Beat: Rhythms and Patterns 2013, November Fig Tree Gallery, Fresno, CA CLAY PAPER, STICKS Experiments & Meditations She also participates in numerous group exhibitions, locally as well as part of a traveling exhibit which went to Korea and Europe in 2015-16..
In the summer of 1993 Kathy participated in a 2-month long artist-in-residence program in New Zealand, sponsored by the Fresno Art Museum and the Central Hawkes Bay Regional Arts Council. Since 1988, she has traveled to Africa, Thailand and mostKathy Wosika recently to Mexico and Ecuador to meet with artists and study traditional paper and textile arts. During the Spring of 2000 she traveled on Sabbatical to Greece, Crete, Italy, France, Spain and London. In February & March of 2008 she taught paper making in Ghana and Morocco and also visited with local traditional textile and craft media artists. In 2012, Kathy retired from the Art Department of Fresno City College after 37 years of coordinating and teaching the Craft program. She continues to offer Papermaking workshops in her studio locally as well as pursue personal studio work. Not able to abandon music altogether, currently she plays fiddle with a local Fresno band called Blind Dog, which features an eclectic mix of traditional music from Ireland and America.

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