September 18, 2019
September 16 - 22 is Member Appreciation Week at the Mosesian Center for the Arts! To celebrate, we'll be posting profiles of the incredible artists, students, and patrons who make up our community all week long. Today, Marija Draskic, an architect and artist whose work is featured in our 2019 Member Show, shares some of her experiences at the MCA.
Q. How long have you been involved with the MCA? What first brought you here?
A. I have been involved in various ways with the MCA for a little less than a year now, and mostly not as an artist per se. What brought us together originally was a specific project that MCA developed, and my firm (Sasaki Associates) and the Sasaki Foundation supported. Sasaki Foundation has this amazing program that supports community development where different art institutions, organizations, and individuals can apply for project funding. MCA brought them an incredible project, the “Please Touch the Art” exhibition, which was geared towards the Low Vision and Blind community and celebrated different ways of experiencing art. I joined the project as a designer, helping in organizing the space - more specifically, designing certain signage for the exhibit. Together with the MCA I worked on developing tactile maps for the exhibit, which would potentially be used in greater capacity and serve for people to orient themselves in the space whether they have a visual impairment or not. The project was very interesting, and for me personally a growing experience, where I learned so much about perceptions and experiences of Blind people, and how tactile/other senses are vital to consider in spatial design. As an architect, working with MCA has broadened my experience and profoundly affected my design process.
Q. How do you participate in the arts at the MCA?
A. Immediately after our first collaboration, I understood that I was dealing with incredible people at the MCA - people who love and appreciate art and understand its profound impact on the local and broader communities. I asked around and learned about the possibility to become a member. This way I could support the MCA in various ways, but also stay involved and be notified of different opportunities for my design and artistic expression. Becoming a member at the MCA just came naturally out of an already mutualistic relationship, where my artistic and design talents were appreciated and where I was able use my skills to truly make an impact and affect my new community. I have been in Boston for a little over a year, and I already feel at home, thanks to the possibilities of being involved in the life of the local community. All of this has happened thanks to art and to people who love and appreciate art.
Q. What has been your favorite event/experience here?
A. Besides participating in "Please Touch the Art" - which was a pivotal moment for me and my personal and skill development - I would say that Earfull stands out as particularly interesting. If one loves poetry and live music, it is a great place to be. It is also a good way to support local artists and meet some of the greatest contemporary writers in America.
Q. If you could meet any historic or contemporary artist (visual artist, filmmaker, musician, etc) who would you pick? Why?
A. If I had the opportunity, I would like to meet the late Lina Bo Bardi, one of the greatest modernist architects who is not very known in North America. From the contemporary mages I would love to meet James Turrell. Their work is very different but they are both masters of their craft, and they work with the different ways that people experience and perceive space. I consider my work to be visual art, but I explore spatial qualities of color, include a lot of geometrical and pattern studies in my work, and explore human perception. I know that I could learn a lot from encounters with these great souls, because I see a humane and generous spirit in their art. Art has to be giving, and our teachers have to be giving - so I hope I will one day be able to give to the world in the way these creators give, some even past their lifetimes.
Q. Would you encourage someone else to become an MCA member?
A. Yes! It is such a good way to get involved with the world of art more actively and to find a place to express oneself. It is a really supportive environment and people are simply kind and passionate. Whether you are a beginner or have some experience in your field, this place will provide you with a space to create, and you will find meaning in contributing to a collective of generous and genuine people. In this life we all seek to be surrounded with loving people who teach us about truth and healthy values, helping us to become better human beings. I have seen that at the MCA, within its staff, leader, and among other members. There is a sense of togetherness and common efforts to make a world a better place.
Thanks so much for being a part of our community, Marija.
Stardust by Marija Draskic will be on view at the MCA as part of our Member Exhibition through November 8th. Don't miss the Opening Reception on Thursday, September 19th!