A Euphorbia, August 8, 2018. #1714. Watercolor on Rives BFK, 4 x 7 in.
Wild Water, February 18, 2018. #1543. Watercolor on Rives BFK, 4 x 7 in.
Little Bear, September 18, 2018. #1755. Watercolor on Rives BFK, 4 x 7 in.
More Blossoms Nearby, April 9, 2018. #1593. Watercolor on Rives BFK, 4 x 7 in.
It Was Pink Fog, February 26, 2018. #1551. Watercolor on Rives BFK, 4 x 7 in.
Some Snow on the Shrubs, January 19, 2019. Watercolor on Rives BFK, 4 x 7 in. All images courtesy of the artist.
Raya Bodnarchuk has been an essential part of the arts ecosystem in Washington, DC, since Glen Echo Park was reborn by the National Park Service as a Center for the Arts in 1974. She became one of its first Artists in Residence and gave fourteen years working and teaching to that community. Then, for thirty-two years, she was a faculty member during the golden age of the Corcoran College of Art & Design.
Through it all, Raya never wavered from her commitment to her art and to the craft of art, and to passing along to the next generation her knowledge of making and her modeling of what it means to be a true artist. She is best known for her sculpture, collages, and silkscreens. This exhibition of gouaches began as good advice for her students (“Do something you love every day”), and evolved into a brilliant chronicle of six years of her life beginning in 2013.
One thousand nine hundred twenty-six paintings later, the advice for her students, which she took herself, seems like good advice for all of us. It was the museum’s challenge to show every painting, in order, as a fitting celebration of Raya’s life as an artist.
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