Kasia Polkowska

painter and ceramist
Location: Alamosa, Colorado

All images are copyrighted and strictly for educational and viewing purposes.


June 2006

How did you become a designer/artist?
During childhood, my mom, who is also an artist, inspired me to think of art as something magical, something that I could be a part of. I felt particularly drawn to the idea that an image can say a thousand words. I wanted to create painted stories, which could come alive through each individual eye. In my teens, I made a few paintings, which motivated me to learn more and to pursue art in college.

Where are you from originally?
My family is originally from Poland. We emigrated to the United States from Warsaw in 1993. We settled in New Jersey, where I spent the second half of my life until college.

Who were your main influences growing up?
I was mesmerized by the paintings of Salvador Dalí. I admired him for bringing to life a world I have never seen.

Did you go to art school/college for design or are you self-taught?
I attended Pratt Institute, where I studied painting and earned a BFA in 2006.

Any advice or tips to novice artists?
Learn from your environment, but the best art comes from inside.

What has been the most rewarding and challenging project you have worked on?
At the end of last year I found huge stretchers, much bigger than anything I ever worked with. They were five and a half feet by eight feet. After preparing them for painting, I was faced by a gigantic blank, white rectangle. As it hovered over me, I was overwhelmed and frightened. For months I tried to ignore the giant in my studio. But finally I climbed a chair and attacked it. I became lost in a land of uncertainty. In the end this experience pushed my limits and opened me to more possibilities.

What is your favorite art piece? Why?
I have always been fascinated by architecture. There is not a piece that I can single out as my favorite. But one stands out. It is a hidden or hideous treasure in the heart of Warsaw. It is an unnoticed beauty. It is my childhood home. It is a survivor of the World Wars and of Capitalism whom swallowed all its friends. It stands there almost alone now. It is an old brick building shaped as a sleeping “A”. Not many people know that this shabby, crumbling down old lady has a hidden identity as the first and most famous letter of the alphabet.

What artist inspires you most?
Diebenkorn. I admire the genuine, uncompromising direction that his work progressed in. To grow as an artist, he followed his heart, rather than common trends.

What unlocks your creativity?
Solitude. When I am free to escape inside myself, where I can unbury lots of hidden treasures. I feel that there is always a lot of build up of events, thoughts, and emotions that I collect through out each day. When I finally get a chance to reflect and let everything sink in, a thought stands out. It then evolves into an idea, which I want to further investigate or develop through art.