Recycled Matter

January 23, 2007|by JULIE E. GREENE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Tornadoes are natural forces that can destroy lives.

In Sonya Evanisko's art, tornadoes are a metaphor for the good and evil constructive sides of people.

Evanisko's current exhibit, "Recycled Matter," at The Arts Centre in downtown Martinsburg features several tornadoes.

The mixed media exhibit is mostly acrylic paintings and collage with Evanisko using images from coupon pages, advertisements and magazines.

Evanisko, 39, of Shepherdstown, W.Va., uses her art to create an awareness of the choices people make.

In this exhibit, many of the pieces address excesses in consumerism.

"I don't mind spending money on a quality brand name item, if it's quality and I know it's worth it," she says. "I think society has a problem with buying brand name things because of the image it portrays."

"You're not what you own," she says. "You have to be aware of the marketing."

Evanisko says she's not trying to preach to people about what they should or shouldn't buy.


The contemporary art often raises more questions than answers, she says.

Evanisko, who is the chairwoman of Shepherd University's Department of Art, coordinates the university's painting and drawing program.

An artist's reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at The Arts Centre. The exhibit also is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 7, for a Main Street Martinsburg mixer, which is open to the public.

For more information, go to or call 304-263-0224.

This ink and collage work, "They'll All Fall Down," looks at how consumers and marketers take a simple need for light and create outlandish products such as chandeliers, Sonya Evanisko says.

Evanisko likes to use tornadoes in her pieces to represent the creative destructive tendencies people have. In this ink and collage piece, "Living, Luxury and Lust," the red lines represent natural energy - like a tornado would. Evanisko juxtaposes this natural element with sport utility vehicles.

Evanisko used a collage of realistic images to lure viewers into "White Tornado."

Artist Sonya Evanisko's exhibit, "Recycled Matter," is open at The Arts Centre at 300 W. King St. in Martinsburg through Feb. 28. An artist's reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at The Arts Centre.

The imagery in "Actual Dreams May Vary" was inspired by a "strange, vivid dream" Evanisko had.

This piece is unlike many others in the exhibit as it does not deal with consumerism. However, like the other works, it contains recycled material - pieces of coupon pages.

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