In celebration of a lifetime of art, local artist Myrna Balk is hosting a 50-year retrospective exhibit.
Balk has been immersed in the world of art ever since completing her first paining in 1956 in high school.
In her free time Balk teaches a gardening class through Brookline Adult and Community Education and has in the past served on the board of the Brookline Art Center. Her exhibit will run at the Piano Craft Gallery in Boston until May 28.
Balk recently took some time to answer questions for the media about her art, her inspiration and her exhibit.
Describe your art.
My art can be literal, abstract, allegorical, or a metaphor. I work in many materials such as welded steel, etchings, clay and fiber art. No matter the material, much of my art is a reflection of social conflicts and my wish to express my feelings. I often do not know the meaning of the work until after the work is finished.
What does art do for you?
Art is an important means of self-expression. It is also a way for me to express my sorrow and helplessness about injustices, about various human rights issues as well as to portray resilience and beauty.
What is your process for creating art?
Ideas come to me quickly, often unexpectedly. I often work very spontaneously, usually not reworking the piece. Work gets tweaked, but not over worked.
What inspired the exhibit?
Having been involved with art for the last 50 years, I wanted to see the themes, trends, and variations shown in one place.
How long has it been in the works?
For the last two years, I thought I was ready for a retrospective. When I saw the space at the Piano Craft Gallery, I knew I was ready.
What can people expect from the exhibit?
People will see 120 works of art. Some of the art has been inspired by my personal experience as a social worker and problems I have seen in other countries. My allegorical works can be both lovely and pleasant while still calling attention to victims of sex trafficking, genital mutilation, homelessness, the Holocaust and the current refugee situation.
What should people know about your art?
Others have called it both extraordinarily beautiful as well as meaningful, provocative and powerful.