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Marina Hajek 1989 – 2020: A Retrospective Sample

Friday, November 6, 2020 at 7:00am to 8:00pm

Erb Memorial Union (EMU), Adell McMillan Gallery
1395 University Street, Eugene, OR 97403

The Visual Arts Team is pleased to present a retrospective of the sculptures of Marina Hajek. The exhibition will be on view in the EMU Adell McMillan Gallery, from late September to early November.

Artist Statement: 

My work is about duality.... my two lives, in Guatemala and the United States.  However, my work is much more a metaphor of the dual lives of women - caught between culture and expectations. 

I explore the human figure as well as the abstract manifestations of our beings and forms.  Often things are most profoundly understood through "unrealistic representations".


When I lived in Birmingham, Alabama, I studied ceramic sculpture at the University of Birmingham with professor James Alexander.  He taught me not just about the use of clay as a medium for sculpture, but also sculpture as a tool of communication.  He opened my eyes to a wide range of possibilities.  Since then, I have been creating pieces that tell a story.


At the same time, I met sculptor Cordray Parker, who invited me to become his apprentice in working with bronze.  I worked with him for four years; since then, bronze became one of my favorite mediums to work with.  I also work with other material as you see, with my latest project in which I recycle paper in order to make my own paper pulp.


My work speaks about the human condition.  The unstable political atmosphere in Guatemala made a strong impression in my life.  Once living in the USA, I started creating pieces in which I expressed my political opinion, in a way that I wouldn't had been able to do in Guatemala.

Through the process of acculturation, I started to feel less isolated as I began comparing, analyzing and trying to understand the "why" of many things, and also amusing myself.


When I was working on a piece based on my own experiences in Guatemala, I realized the connection between the violence and greed that causes so much problems in Guatemala, and the corruption elsewhere in the world.  Violence and greed know no boundaries.  No one is immune.  My Latest project is about giving a voice to the immigrant, to hear the other side of the story and connect with the person behind it.  These are their stories they want you to know.