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About the Artist

Mona Kolesar
  • Your work shows a love of materials. How did this become a major focus in your means of expression?
    Combining materials is visual music to me. I have long been drawn to the tactile quality of clay, wood, stone, and metal. Shaping and manipulating materials is an essential component of my creative process. After graduate school I had a job teaching art to American military personnel in Germany. This was a great learning experience as I had to learn how to use tools and run machines in my job as a teacher and director of a photo and craft facility. When I returned to the states I came to Cleveland where I had been an art student. Being knowledgeable of supply sources (including junk yards) was a great advantage. Both my time in graduate school at the Cleveland Institute of Art and my craft shop experience contributed to my comfort level in using equipment and machines for cutting and shaping various materials.
  • Many of your wall pieces use construction and industrial materials. How did you become interested in making large scale art?
    I was asked to choose artwork for a corporation's new offices. This led to contacts in the corporate world, and, with architects and art consultants who place art in public settings. Most of my large scale pieces were undertaken as commissions or for gallery shows. I'm drawn to large scale art, but currently my work is of a more modest scale. One noted sculpture teacher said to me" "It's all right to do coffee table size art as long as you don't have a coffee table size soul."
  • How does one traverse the ground from an idea in your studio to the walls of a building?
    When developing designs for a commissioned sculpture I start with making models. When a design interests me and I think will satisfy the client, I photograph it, Photoshop the image onto the client's picture of the proposed space, and then send it to them. The package usually includes the photo, an actual model and material samples. They share their input such as size adjustment or color considerations. We are all on the same page before the actual construction begins. One large commission: the consultant was in Philadelphia, the developer and architect were in North Carolina and the building was in Florida. Fortunately, I have not had to limit my work to the northern Ohio area.
  • Would you say you were always interested in art?
    I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania with a small school. Art was not in the curriculum. My mother had a treadle sewing machine and I started making doll clothes on it. That, of course, led to making my own clothes. I would start with a pattern but was too impatient to read the directions. "Oops" led to some very creative designs. A mistake was just an unexpected opportunity. ​
  • The work I see in your studio now - curved and flowing strips of wood and cultured marble - is quite different from the large wall constructions. Why did you change?
    I'm really revisiting a style that I have gone back to several times. First, using steel in graduate school, then in laminated wood, and now in flexible wood and cultured marble. Each material says something different. The ":Thinking Process", interests me right now and requires a fluid moving line.
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