By Angela Romeo

Often we hear the phrase “she is a woman in a man’s world.” And as the world changes, we learn that acceptance and respect are for all. The art world still has its prejudices. For example there is an ongoing debate concerning craft vs., art. There is a school that views craft as a skill at making useful items, and that art is a symbolic expression of ideas, emotions and experiences. Perhaps craft do tend to be utilitarian and art is a way to express emotion or reality. But perhaps the debate can be distilled to cultural bias and aesthetics.

As ridiculous as the argument may be the ongoing debate that certain art is craft and not worthy of serious study and gallery space is blown to bits when looking at the work of artists such as Robin Przybysz.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1963, Robin Adams Przybysz grew up in a family that was involved in the arts.  Her family’s history in the arts involves acting, modeling, landscape architecture, sculpture, and lithography. Przybysz developed a career as artist/educator.

Przybysz received her undergrad degree in Fine Arts/Art Education from the University of Cincinnati in 1986, and returned in 1991 to serve as an Adjunct Professor for the Art Education Department. Przybysz has spent the last three decades exhibiting her work in the United Stated and teaching art to children Kprep-12. She is currently working on her MFA degree at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California with an emphasis on sculpture installation. She will graduate July 2016 following her solo exhibition, Excavation of the Immaculate Heart.

Excavation of the Immaculate Heart runs June 11to July 1 at the Duke Gallery, Azusa Pacific University, West Campus, 701 E. Foothill Boulevard, Azusa CA. At. The work is testament to craft as art, art as craft and to a woman ready to be more than a woman in a man’s world challenging the views of fine art.

“As a woman artist in today’s society, I have so many more advantages than women in past histories, yet I find that many of us women still struggle for recognition and to be taken seriously. The strengths of my work fall under Contemporary Craft undergirded by women’s work and feminism.   I have found my voice in my art in such a way that it is not only relevant to today’s art world, but also how it links me to my past culture and how I will influence generations to come through the bloodline we share,” said Robin. “This exhibition is challenge for the viewer and me. We all began from the same place, the womb. We grow and develop influenced by the circumstances that surround us. But we are allowed to rewrite our history and our paths. Self-awareness and self-respect are journeys to self. The compilation of this work shows various developmental phases of a female figure in fetal position while in utero, being transformed through lines, patterns, and textures of various natural and tactile fibers such as linen, wood, paper, and plaster.  I wish for my audience to experience a visceral connection, one of strength and perseverance, when viewing the signs, symbols, and images of my art; which hold a universal experience inside the psychological and physiological stages of life.”

For Robin the work is about the process. “It is the physical act of drawing, burning, or sculpting lines and forms that I find myself in an introspective trance; one that carries me away to another place in time through the rhythmical process of repetitious cadence in manipulating my materials. As I reflect back on the unfolding journey I have traveled, I see the validity and vulnerability in altering my life’s patterns to have new momentum without restriction. The skills I perform while crafting my sculptural bodies of art, and the natural fibrous materials I choose offer me a sensual, sensorial feel in my hands that become an extension of the gestures of my body.  The designs I fashion in my artworks whether burned, stitched, drawn, coiled, or constructed into three-dimensional sculptures become a symbolic language for me.  The inscriptions are a soothing dialect, and my development of transforming the medium is a meditative, ceremonial, and flowing state of motion.”

Excavation of the Immaculate Heart is a more than an installation exhibition. To surrender to its power the viewer can find that craft and art are irrelevant when the chance to transform one’s life lies at their feet.  “My work speaks of renewal and liberation from the oppression of childhood trauma by redirecting my own path in restructuring the cellular makeup of the story of my life; it declares hope, persistence, and determination. I will continue on this expedition that women have paved before me in making my voice heard.”

Excavation of the Immaculate Heart runs June 11to July 1 at the Duke Gallery, Azusa Pacific University, West Campus, 701 E. Foothill Boulevard, Azusa CA. For more about Robin Przybysz visit