I'm participating in an art exhibit that coincides with the 7th meeting of The International Women Against Militarism. The exhibit is featuring local female artists and will also have a film screening, poetry and music, as well as a fashion show. I'm really excited, but I had been struggling for days to work on an Artist's Bio. For a few nights all I had was a paragraph and then I found out it needed to be a half page to a full page. I was stuck with just a couple sentences after hearing that. Finally last night I sat down and forced myself to think about the influence art has in my life and why it is so important to me and how far I've gone with it . . . not very, yet. So here it is. Thanks to Luke and Allan's encouragement and Nella's editing services I completed it.
Andrea Nicole Grajek
Born and raised on Guam, Andrea is the daughter of Michael and Berni Grajek. Growing up in a household where art and music were as essential as food and shelter, Andrea has always had a strong appreciation for the arts. Her father and brother both draw and her parents were art dealers when Andrea was a little girl. Some of her earliest memories take her back to art shows and artists' studios. She's always loved painting and drawing, but never had the opportunity to take an art class until she started attending the University of Guam. Until then all her knowledge of art was absorbed from her experiences and from what she observed and read in books. She has gone through many phases in her art including an abstract phase, influenced by local artist Vivian Chargulaf, and a pen and ink phase she attributes to Al Lizama, another local artist.
During her high school years Andrea signed up for art classes year after year, but never ended up in one. She still continued painting and drawing. One year, at the suggestion of her mother, she entered a piece in a silent auction for Guma' Mami. Since then she continues to donate to Guma' Mami, year after year. All her art work is given as gifts to friends or given as a gift to Guma' Mami.
Mostly working with acrylics on canvas, Andrea creates artwork inspired by life and emotions. Her fondness of acrylics is rooted in the movement and energy expressed through the medium's texture and vibrancy. Andrea also enjoys sketching with charcoal and gets lost for hours in pointilism with ink, a technique she learned in Art for Non-Majors, a course she was taking at the University of Guam. Of all her works, Andrea's favorite piece was created with scraps of construction paper arranged on a discarded sheet of dry wall in a pixelated manner, depicting a portrait of her boyfriend. Andrea tries to be as resourceful as possible. She saves everything and anything, knowing it can one day be the perfect addition to a beautiful piece of art. Andrea also mixes her own henna paste, which she uses to tint canvas, wood, and skin. In addition to the traditional arts, she sews and crafts and would love to one day learn to knit and embroider.
For Andrea, art is escapism. It is a retreat to a place with no boundaries. Art is her connection to other planes, worlds in the future, and times long gone. Her artwork is a reaction to emotions felt and a reflection of her experiences and her dreams. More than anything, Andrea would love to share her appreciation of art with future generations. After taking a break from the University of Guam, Andrea realized that what she'd really love to do is give others the nurturing, as far as a love for art, that she received as a child. After going back to school, Andrea hopes to start an alternative after-school program with a focus on appreciation and skills in the arts. It is in this way that she hopes to give back to the community that has given her the ability to dream and create.
If you would like to learn more about Andrea, you can visit her blog at http://waitingforwonderland.blogspot.com or email her, firstname.lastname@example.org.