At the beginning / by Christine Olejniczak


At the writing of this first entry I find myself back in the city where I grew up. I made an incredible 19 hour road trip with my sister and father to attend the funeral of one of my uncles. Being surrounded by my relatives and sharing stories flooded me with memories and images that stay with me.

It was a bit overwhelming revisiting the place where the core of who I am was formed. My father and I marveled at how tall the trees had gotten and I realized that he has been tracking them for 88 years. We drove by a brick building that one of my uncles had built many years before I had been born - still standing strong. I met the son of a relative who had been an incredible painter. When I was in high school I made an appointment to visit with him and he showed me drawer after drawer of drawings on tracing paper where he had mapped out his compositions.

At my uncle's funeral there were photographs on display that helped tell 93 years of stories. He died weeks away from celebrating his 70th wedding anniversary. Amazing. His wife and daughters, my cousins, my father, sister, brother and my 97-year-old uncle all gathered to honor and celebrate a beautiful, full life.

I spoke to one of my cousins about the insatiable curiosity that runs in the family. An independent and creative spirit that I have always admired. I've never been clear if I was taught this quality or born with it.

After more than 30 years of making art I am at this moment experiencing many firsts. This website is the first I have ever built and I am excited to share my work. I live in Marfa, Texas - a small but somewhat infamous town. I've been here since 2001. In the past 12 months I've done 2 artist in residency programs and I intend to continue pursuing opportunities to scale my work up and seek out collaborations.

I'll keep all of you posted on these experiences. I plan on using this blog to have a forum on some of my musings, observations and to share a bit of my work in progress.

I gathered material from the last two AIRs that is still being processed. I have a lot more art to make.

Thanks for stopping in! This is truly the beginning of a very exciting time and I look forward to sharing it with you.