Some of you may recognize Karina Wojnar, as she is the Development & Membership Manager at Albany Center Gallery. In this position, she fills her time writing grants, planning programming, increasing community outreach efforts, and working with ACG members.
She wants our readers to know her as a daughter, a sister, and friend – someone who prioritizes amplifying the voices of the unheard in the CapNY community. ACE’s Gabby Fisher has been following her on Instagram for quite a while and reached out to feature her for this week’s ACE Creative feature because of her evolving style as an artist. She’s a creative millennial powerhouse.
Karina, where are you from?
I am originally from Northern NJ, a small lake town called Ringwood. Currently I live in Albany! I went to Siena College and loved the area, so I decided to stay after graduation. Why? The people. The energy of the people. The architecture. The quirks. The random cobblestone streets and historical buildings. Running into people you know in cafes and farmer’s markets. The fact that there are people dedicated to community and positive change. How active people are in politics, human rights, and deeper conversations.
How did you get into the creative field?
I’m lucky. My parents value art as essential, so it was always my path to be in the creative field. I grew up dancing, participating in theater, writing, reading, and prioritizing art classes. I applied to colleges with the intention of getting a business degree with a focus in the arts. Throughout my time at Siena College, I fell in love with social justice and the overlap between humanity and art.
Human beings use art to emote, to share facts, to evoke, to connect with one another. I believe art to be how humans use their VOICE. Everyone has a voice and a different way of expressing it, whether through music, visual art, performance, writing, fashion, etc. We all deserve to be heard.
In a prior conversation between the two of us, you mentioned you feel like you haven’t necessarily found your creative “voice” yet. Can you talk a little bit about that? I feel that many people can relate.
I’m still experimenting. For the past couple years, I’ve been combining complementary colors and mixing embroidery into paintings. I’m still learning and figuring out technique. People say that once you can become decent at replicating a piece or style of yours over and over– you’ve found your voice.
I’ve been reading “Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic” by Lisa Congdon. It’s been encouraging and affirming to know that my voice matters and it’s all a part of the process. This journey; experimenting, actively listening to my fellow creatives, research…it will all shape my voice, my art, and my life.
What is it like being part of an arts community in CapNY? What has it been like working with local creatives?
In one word…inspiring. Communication and dialogue with fellow creatives is so important. We inspire each other, help each other out, lift each other up. It’s been rewarding. Working with the local arts community is the reason I want to stay in the area.
If you could leave our readers with a word of advice or positivity, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself and your art out there. Your voice matters. Black Lives Matter. Black Art Matters.