An emerging artist’s love of science inspires art
By KIM HENRY
We’re welcoming a dynamic new artist to the vibrant Wilmington art scene. , who’s as eclectic a mix of skills, passions and interests as her surreal collages of words, ink, ideas and whatever else may peak her interest on any given day. A ‘hodge-podge’ of unique perspectives and techniques, Beresynaks moved to Wilmington just over a year ago and is now ready to make her presence known.
Born and raised in Raleigh NC, Beresnyak went to a magnum school for the arts and then received her BA in Microbiology from NC State. Despite these seemingly contradictory subjects, her work clearly shows how they feed one another. She has always had a love of science and was also a talented artist from an early age. One of her childhood memories is of her second grade teacher leaning over one of her drawings and commenting, ‘you should be an artist’ and Beresnyak confidently replying, ‘yes, I should.’
Typical of her driven, ambitious personality, Beresnyak is a woman with a constant mission. “I want to learn something new every year. I call it my Sylvia Plath journey,” she laughs as we look through her impressive body of work. To date, Beresnyak is an artist, a licensed Taxidermy, a professional mixologist and currently working for the Wilmington supported employment company LPI – Learning Perspectives. Did I mention that Beresnyak is only 25 years old?
In AP science classes as a high school student, Beresnyak’s fascination with anatomy and physiology grew into a reoccurring theme throughout her artwork. It may seem like an unusual fusion of interests, but then nothing about this vibrant young artist is very usual. Depictions of brains, hearts and veins feature in many of her pieces. ‘Grey Splatter’ is a perfect example, and an exploration of mental health and the way in which something defined as logical and structured can also splinter into chaos. ‘Dendritic branching,’ is what veins, capillaries and neurons do in the human body in the same way that rivers split and divide as they find their way to the ocean. This interdependence and connection of all things is reiterated throughout her work.
“I’m all about a hodge podge of idea’s coming together,” explains Beresynak, “and for me this naturally includes reaching a diverse range of people, and embracing community.” One of her many accomplishments are to compose beautiful spaces that inspire people to come together and create. In Raleigh, she founded a collective of women that shared the three core values of skills, support and volunteering.
Some days this meant skill trades - I’ll teach you taxidermy, you teach me book binding - at other times this meant offering their service for local non-profits, such as women’s advocacy groups, or just getting together with a stack of old menus, and a bunch of art supplies to see what they would create.
Like many artists, Beresnyak is constantly striving to find that art/work balance and while she is dedicated to her job of supporting society’s most vulnerable to find employment, she carves out time to make sure she creates something every week. One of her favorite techniques is blown ink. “I like how chaotic it is, you never know how it’s going to turn out. I also like how the creation is coming from my breath and turning into fine art on the paper.”
Beresnyak’s art inherently questions the order of the world whether she has an idea of what she about to create or not. “I like to surprise myself,” smiles the artist, although social justice and the female experience are areas that definitely permeate her work. Clocks and cameras are persistent images, exploring a sense of being watched and being timed within the current climate. ‘Gorilla Sanctity’ is an expression of the objectification of women and how they are treated as they age from children to women, and similarly from being young women to elders.
Often thought provoking, sometimes surreal and always impressive, this young artists’ work can be seen in a number of coffee shops and bars around Wilmington. As she finally unpacks the last of her belongings into her new home, she let’s out a deep breath and announces that is ready and excited to immerse herself in Wilmington’s avant-garde art scene, and we look forward to her first exhibit.