Get to know an artist: Natalia Buczek

Matthew Steinberg, Features Editor

Since high school, studio art major and Erie native Natalia Buczek, ’19, has incorporated personal stories into her work.

“When I was in high school, I was really into my heritage,” Buczek said. “So all of my high school pieces were Dutch, Polish, Colombian. … My favorite thing about my art is that it always has a personal connection to it. It’s not like I’m doing it just to have the assignment done.”

Buczek originally came to Allegheny to major in neuroscience and minor in studio art. From elementary art classes through high school, she kept drawing, painting, ceramics and other forms of art as hobbies until her second year at Allegheny.

Buczek

“Something someone told me once when I was a freshman and said that I was a studio art minor (was) ‘Oh that’s going to change,’” Buczek said. “I could’ve pushed to finish neuroscience, but it just didn’t feel right.”

Studio art majors at Allegheny use different mediums of art, according to Buczek. Woodwork, drawing, painting and digital art are skills Buczek said she has developed during her time as a student.

Throughout her childhood and college career, Buczek said her favorite art medium has always been ceramics.

“Ever since I was a child, I’ve liked the hands-on activities,” Buczek said. “My dad would always be like ‘Hey let’s build build this, let’s build that’ … and I think that is what made me enjoy the hands-on more than just painting.”

Last year, Assistant Professor of Ceramics and Sculpture Ian Thomas encouraged Buczek to incorporate ceramics and painting into a World War II-inspired series of pictures. Influenced by her father’s interest in World War II, Buczek made three ceramic frames by hand, and then, using ceramic and under glaze, painted pictures of fighter planes onto those frames.

When Buczek first created the frame with a “renaissance look,” she did not know what picture she would paint on it. Since she is always thinking about including personal connections and stories into her work, she had the idea to paint the B-17 flying fortresses on top.

“I thought it’d be interesting to have the juxtaposition of this classic frame with a black and white World War II photo,” Buczek said. “And that’s kind of where I got the idea of doing just plain black and white and then having that copper tone for the frame.”

Buczek has combined ceramics and painting in other works as well. After her World War II-inspired series, Buczek completed a three piece series of renditions of “Cupid and Soul Standing,” “Cupid and Soul” and “The Kiss” from the neoclassical period.

“The first time I saw ‘Cupid and Soul’ was at a festival,” Buczek said. “Someone had done a copper relief of it … I bought (the copper relief) of ‘Cupid and Soul,’ and it’s been my favorite sculpture ever since, so that’s what inspired the whole series.”

Personal connections keep Buczek invested in her art work, and she hopes to continue creating pieces as a hobby. After college, Buczek is interested in the business side of art, which includes marketing and curating exhibits.

This semester, she will continue working as a gallery assistant for the Bowman~Penelec~Megahan Art Galleries at Allegheny College.

“What I’m looking at for after I graduate is to actually go more into the marketing sense of art,” Buczek said. “I do love doing my hands on work and building, but I like the business side a little more … I worked for (Allegheny’s) art gallery, and my favorite thing about that is working with the artist, figuring out how the exhibitions are going to be put up (and) taken down.”

In addition to working with the art gallery, Buczek will continue expanding her skill sets in the Meadville community by interning with the marketing company Blue Moose Marketing this semester.

 

Natalia Buczek, ’19, features black and white B-17 flying fortresses painted with under glaze on top of her copper tone ceramic mold.