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M Sanzi Kermes

My ancestral roots stem from Bohemia and Italy. Both my paternal and maternal grandparents came to the United States to find and to live the American dream. There was a lot of unrest in those familial roots: impoverishment, drunken brawls, tough times, premature deaths, many children to support and raise (13 on the paternal side, 11 on the maternal); while above it all, persistence ~ persistence in the belief of the American dream. I am their progeny.

Because of their courage in the face of adversity, I have a better life than did they. Because of their courage, I am living the American dream. This legacy affords me the freedom to contemplate ideas. I contemplate ideas of language, of identity and place, and of the processes involved in art making. I contemplate words and the effect of a word on one's visual memory. I have been a professional working artist for decades now. Primarily self-taught before receiving my masters in 2008, I continue to foster and develop series of works based on the concepts of language and identity and visual memory.

Artist Statement

A multidisciplinary artist, I work in various media concurrently and/or after a decade of neglect while pursuing a new area. I am adept at watercolor, acrylic, and collage, and more recently have been doing screen printing, bookmaking, and letterpress printing.

My interests, while seemingly disparate, each hold a thread of commonality ~ that of asking a question and seeking a visual answer. Every series of work that I pursue begins with a set of questions and parameters, giving me a structure by which to focus on the work. The best examples of this are my work to reinterpret Scrabble games that I have played and to visually mark my memory of landscapes that I have taken mental notes on. With respect to each of these, I developed a set of criteria by which to build the body of work. Paintings are generally square in format ~ a challenge to engage the viewer to see their world in a new format of sorts, both literally and figuratively. The Scrabble game interpretations are something meant for longer consideration and viewing and are therefore presented in book format.