Grantee: Abigail Romanchak
Native Citizenship: Native Hawaiian
Location: Makawao, Hawaii
Award: 2015 Native Hawaiian Artist Fellowship
Discipline: Visual Arts
Web Site: abigailromanchak.com
Visual artist Abigail Romanchak will create a new series of large-scale prints addressing climate change and sea levels rising due to global warming with support from NACF.
Abigail Romanchak is a visual artist known that perpetuates Native Hawaiian culture and perspectives on the imprint human beings and technology create on the natural environment. Through contemporary art forms, often in abstract and finely-textured, multi-layered prints, she explores the intricate connections between us and the world we live in. “I believe that Native cultures are jeopardized once they stop speaking to people in the present day,” said Romanchak. “As an artist, I seek to perpetuate traditional culture through contemporary means so that it endures for generations to come.”
Her work has been recognized three times by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and The Arts, and appears in the collections of The White House in Washington D.C., the Australian National Gallery in Canberra and the University of New South Wales in Sydney. She earned an M.F.A in printmaking at the University of Hawaii and established a printmaking studio in Honolulu. “I am absolutely obsessed with the process and the mystery of not knowing what the finished print will look like, to not be in control of the whole process. I like feeling a little bit out of control! You could spend a lifetime mastering just one medium, there’s always more to learn,” said Romanchak.
Support from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation will allow the printmaker to create a new body of work addressing the impact of climate change in Hawaii. The series of large-scale woodcut prints will be exhibited locally and internationally, to bring attention to the impact rising sea levels due to global warming are having in Hawaii. Romanchak intends to debut the new series in a group exhibition of Native Hawaiian artists at the Lower Saxton State Museum in Hanover, Germany, in 2016.