Meet Monica Chulewicz, a 27-year-old passionate artist from Long Island, New York. When we first received Monica’s application and portfolio we were very moved by her work. It was obvious, this young woman had a wonderful talent. We are proud to announce that she is a Winner of a 2019 Anton Yelchin Artist Grant in the Fine Arts.
When did you first realize your talent for this art style?
Ever since I was young, I would love art class, no matter what grade I was in. Sometime around late middle school I began getting into photography. I was taking a lot of photo classes at my high school, which was an all art high school. This is when I knew I wanted to do it professionally. I was a photographer during the first few years for my college degree. I was also working in different mediums as well. It wasn’t until the summer before my senior thesis that I started to experiment with photocollages, which ended up turning into print making, (something I had never done before.) And that’s where I am at now. It’s been an evolution since then and I haven’t really been doing any photography. Print making stole my heart.
When was your first exhibition?
Through school I was doing your typical art show that students do in high school. I ended up winning an award for a photography show that my teacher submitted my work for that I ended up winning. There was a PTA art show at the school that I won, then the school district, then ended up the winning the county. There was also a local university where I had an exhibition. That’s how I started.
Did you visit many museums growing up near the city?
My family isn’t big on art, so I never went to museums with them. So, it wasn’t until high school that I started going to museums like the MET.
How does creating your art make you feel?
I don’t see myself doing anything else in my life. I am very passionate about my work. Most of my free time goes into my work. Whether creating, or researching, or searching for new opportunities. The themes of my art work, is heavily based off my disabilities. Not necessarily to raise awareness, but more of an understanding for others. Creating pieces is primarily for myself, as well as my career. I’m very passionate about my disability community. It’s all I know. My art and my disability… there’s a mix between the two. So it makes sense to intertwine it.
When I started with art, even at the beginning of college career, I didn’t pursue these themes that I am doing now. It wasn’t until my senior thesis, that it was evolving, I started to really understand bringing my experiences into my art making.
This piece named “Solace”, can you tell me more about how it is made?
Basically, I treat both papers and fabrics with light sensitive chemicals. By creating my own mixture and coating my own light sensitive surfaces, it allows me to use a wider array of paper of fabric rather than just the one type that comes pretreated.
This piece “Solace” is a combination of both digital and an actual traditional collage. The center of this piece is a cyanotype, this was for a public art commission. I started experimenting the cyanotype and digital scanner. Each piece is individually printed and applied to a cyanotype.
Do you have any favorite artists?
I’ve been into Louise Bourgeois for the past few years and started really getting into her art more recently.
How did you find out about the foundation?
I heard about the Anton Yelchin Foundation through Facebook.
Where do you see yourself and your art 5 years from now?
I’m trying to get into graduate school with in the next few years. I want to continue pursuing art and make more of a living at it. I want to continue to find fellow ships and continually grow as an artist.
What do you plan on using the grant money for?
I am so very thankful for the grant from the foundation. A majority of it will go to school tuition and applications to get my MFA. And of course, art supplies! There’s an upgrade to the machine I have been using for paper cutting, which will allow me to use other materials, such as fabric. For my fiber art, this machine would be another extension of what I can do with it. I could do more fabric collage.
If you would like to see more work by Monica, please visit her website www.monicachulewicz.com
Interview by David Glowacki / Anton Yelchin Foundation March, 2019