Grosse Pointe MI
Elixir of The Ancients
Joan Farago was born in Highland Park, Michigan in 1952. While growing up in the Detroit area, she had the interest and opportunities to study Art; it’s methods and cultural aspects. Traveling and working in Europe and Japan allowed her to process and integrate acquired concepts and techniques into her artwork. She was graduated with honor from Michigan State University in 1976, earning her BFA in Studio Art and Art Education. In 2006 she received the Bud Bernstein Art Scholarship and traveled to SITKA, Oregon to study Japanese woodcut printmaking, and later that same year received her MA in Studio Art from Wayne State University. She has taught art techniques in public schools systems around the country and holds continuing workshops at her studio in mid-town Detroit. Michigan’s beautiful scenery and waterways have been the inspiration for her large scale and vibrantly colored paintings and unique prints, but she also expresses a human element to each work, calling them “emotional landscapes.” Through abstraction she blends a visual narrative with themes that interest her, usually recalling a historical, mythological or spiritual tale creating a story within a story. There is a strong circular component to Farago’s work that connects us to the natural world. She adopted this visual mantra after the discipline of Japanese flower arranging “Ikebana” in which shape, line and form symbolize heaven, earth and man and their relationship to one another. Also, the physicality of rough canvass surfaces, big brushstrokes and linking multiple panels display the influence of the American Expressionists in her prints and paintings. Although these compositions appear far from simple looking, the methods she adheres to lie within another Japanese philosophy and aesthetic of “wabi-sabi,” which acknowledges three simple realities: nothing is perfect, nothing is finished and nothing lasts. Joan Farago’s artwork can be seen in local Detroit and regional exhibitions and she in private and corporate collections all over the United States and Canada.