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A new life

Vincent Tomczyk

In 2010, I took some of my unemployment money and used it to take an art class. President Obama was in office at the time and encouraged us to reeducate ourselves on our unemployment benefits, in the hopes that when the economy recovered, we would be ready to enter the workforce. I'm sure taking an art class wasn't what she had in mind, but I did it, albeit a little shamefully. I always thought of myself as an artist, but there was really no evidence that I was. The idea of putting this money towards education was not very practical.

Honestly, I was lost at first, but around the fourth week in class something happened that changed my life. My instructor said “I want you to think dimensionally.” “I want you to build something out of paper and cardboard.” I had never thought that cardboard could be a medium for art and it helped me find myself.

In my past professional life, I was a project manager for a packaging company. The work ranged from simple corrugated kraft boxes to elaborate high-end retail packaging. I have worked with some of the most talented structural designers in California. I was the liaison between graphic artists, sales, buyers and producers. So when the instructor said to make something with paper, I was at an advantage and immediately went to work on a cardboard chair. The work was raw at first, but I quickly developed a style of hyperrealism, all the while making sure my work was relevant to what was happening in the world and in my life.

Things have improved a lot in recent years, but I am still considered an emerging artist and, like many other artists, I seek visibility and support from a credible institution. There's more to the story, but hopefully this will serve as an introduction for now. Here is my website and attached some images of my work.

The attached images are:

“Waiting for Godot” 2 stacked paper and cardboard banquet chairs. This work has to do with relying on our fellow humans to get us through life.

“St Christopher” Paper Denim Jacket St. Christopher is the patron saint of the traveler. This piece has to do with the US Border Patrol's inhumane treatment of migrant workers

“Paloma” A brush made of cardboard and thin paper thread. I want to do work that gives hope; to me the brush looks like a dove, a symbol of peace.

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