Artistic Bond for Two Sisters

The JCC Patio Gallery is proud to present work by two sister artists, Stephanie Baldyga-Stagg and Julie Baldyga. While they share familial blood, beyond that, they differ. Two Sisters will open on April 3 with a reception from 2-4 p.m.

Julie Baldyga’s work often features a figure working on complicated machinery set against a colorful backdrop of flowers, representing heaven. Her fascination with the human form, and especially hands can be seen in her artwork.

“I just do like hands,” she says. “They are interesting parts of people. All of my paintings have big, strong hands.”

Where Julie works with physical people, Stephanie prefers physical manipulation of materials and natural forms. Her work starts with abstract strokes, layered on top of each other. The pieces grow organically as textures that contrast the fluidity of the paint with the flatness of the shapes. These shapes often take on surreal qualities that generate more geometric shapes.

“I particularly like this interplay between color and form as unexpected relationships occur,” says Stephanie.

It is not unexpected that two sisters, from an artistic family, both followed their passions to art. However, their journey into art took two very different paths.

Stephanie Baldyga-Stagg’s art comes from a classical training, with a BA in Fine Arts and an MA in painting from the University of Louisville. Later, she went on to teach at Presentation Academy, Spalding University and UofL.

Her sister, Julie Baldyga, grew up in the same creative family, but did not pursue the classical training. Instead, as an adult with developmental disabilities, she found StudioWorks and taught herself her craft. But the lack of classical training was never an issue, with a number of her works proudly displayed in private and corporate collections.

Two Sisters by Julie Baldyga and Stephanie Baldyga-Stagg will be on display at the JCC Patio Gallery April 3-May 3.

Life is Still Beautiful
JCC Patio Gallery Showcase will also present Life is Still Beautiful: works by Luci Mistratov’s students April 3-May 3. Mistratov’s students are retirees living at Access Health Day Care Center. They come from many different countries – Armenia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Russia and Bhutan. However, they all share one thing in common, never considering themselves artists.

A few years ago, with the help of Mistratov, they began to paint pottery, glass and watercolors. Their art represents a beautiful spirit: everyone has an artistic voice to be heard, shouting about the colorful beauty of the life around us.

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