February 20, 2004 at 8:41 a.m.
For most of her adult life Delia Jurek pursued the creation of art only after all the other stuff going on in her life was taken care of...raising a son, maintaining a household, teaching at Hazelden.
But around three years ago, with her son off at college, Jurek said she had an overwhelming desire to pick up what she had dropped a couple of decades ago-- printmaking.
If there’s a moral to this tale it’s that you are never too old or too entrenched to follow your passion, Jurek declared.
She left her regular job at Hazelden as an arts instructor, and became a student. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the U of M in 2002, and she landed an art residency opportunity in Italy. Jurek refined her printmaking skills in a studio at the International School of Printmaking in Venice for five weeks, learning from Michael Mazur, a world class printmaker.
The universe must have lined up in her favor because, like the two parallel supports of a ladder; serendipity and her own dogged determination have sustained her.
As for the determination part-- Jurek said at this point she sets attainable goals for her career. Like generating enough revenue to buy a heater for her workspace, for instance.
When her Minnesota arts grant (underwriting her travel to Italy) was frozen by Governor Pawlenty, Jurek drummed-up “pre-sales” or what amounted to people who gave her money and would get a print later.
But, it’s how her printing press came to sit in her workshop in Center City; that’s an example of the serendipity part.
Jurek said she knew the press had once been housed in Atelier 17, an infamous studio and gathering place for artists such as Miro and Picasso.
The printing press ended up at the University of Minnesota through instructor Malcolm Myers. When Jurek was a student at the U she told Myers she’d love to own the wonderful hand-operated contraption someday; but he died.
Her card was located in Myers’ wallet by a family member, though, and Jurek was contacted to see if she was still interested.
Jurek applied for and received a 2002 McKnight Individual Artist’s Grant helping her to purchase the press from the estate.
It was like things were happening because they were supposed to, Jurek described.
Jurek said she prints with mono-type and copper etching formats. The mono-type especially, “...takes me places I wouldn’t even have thought of.” Each print is a progression from the one before it and the process brings out shapes, feelings and dynamics that differ from every other one. Jurek said it’s the most exciting print-making process for her.
Watch the Press for details about an open house Jurek is planning at her workspace in March.
She also exhibits at Up North Gallery in Lindstrom. The Nothern Printmakers’ Gallery in Duluth has a show called “Black and White” running through March 5, and two of her pieces are being exhibited. Jurek’s prints will also be at the Lorimier Gallery in Cape Girardeau, Missouri all this June.