Sandra Vucicevic has been part of the QCA family for several years now. She is an alumnus of the Artist Peer Circle program, a recipient of the Queens Arts Fund New Works grant, and has served as a SU-CASA Artist-in-Residence for the past three years. Her vibrant paintings have been exhibited all over the world and her work with our city’s elders has made a great and positive impact on our communities. Here Sandra shares some of the inspiration for her studio work and experiences as an art educator.
Where are you from, where are you based, and how would you describe yourself as an artist?
I am Serbian born multi-disciplinary artist residing in Queens, New York. My studio has been based in Long Island City for the last 7 years. Although I explore various media, my focus is painting.
How would you describe your artwork, past and present?
The major inspiration behind my artwork, for many years now, has been the concept of the ambiguous nature of reality. I have always been fascinated with dreams and wondered what lies behind the facade of the world we know. Do things we recognize have a hidden side, another life, a new meaning? My current work includes a large body of abstract paintings which explore my vision of the hazy space that exists between the two realities – the Known and the Unknown. I play with lines and expressive strokes of vibrant colors which overlap and shift into each other until they form the illusion of such a space.
How would you describe your experiences as a SU-CASA Artist-in-Residence?
Being a SU CASA Artist-in-Residence has led me to grow on many levels. First, I was inspired to create my own art program and step into teaching, which is something I have always wanted to do but didn’t have enough experience. Secondly, my art program inspired both my students and me, triggering different ideas and leading me to revisit some of old methods and learn new media and techniques which resulted in the creation of a new body of work. Lastly, and most importantly, I was happy to inspire and bring joy to the elderly doing something I love. My art program and teaching methods received so much appreciation at the senior center to which I was assigned which gave me a lot of confidence for my future work in this field.
What's something that you've learned about the older generation as a SU-CASA Artist-in-Residence?
Creating art helps the older generation relax and feel productive. It makes them feel better and adds quality to their lives. However, many seniors hesitate to join the program because of their own insecurities and fear of failure. Therefore, I created a special program which is fun, easy and doesn’t require any prior skills or knowledge of art. Working with seniors has taught me that there are no age restrictions when it comes to art. Just like everyone else, members of the older generation love to be inspired and learn new things. However, many of them lack patience for more complex work, so they prefer simple art projects.
What do you think artists in your community need the most?
Being an artist in NYC is very competitive, since there are so many creatives in search of new opportunities. For this reason, there is always a need for more art opportunities and jobs. In addition, artists in my neighborhood of Queens, need more representation, promotion and institutional organizing. There have been positive efforts in the non-profit art institutions such as QCA, Queens Museum, JCAL, and artist organizations such as LICA and LIC Arts Open who do the magnificent job of creating opportunities, as well as promoting and educating artists. However, there should be more organizations to assist artists in all parts of Queens.
What are you doing to cope during this time of self-isolation?
Since all kids are now enrolled in “remote learning” and all playdates are off due to “social distancing,” parents have many new roles to fulfill. I have been very busy fulfilling my duties as a mom during the isolation. I spend my time preparing meals and helping my daughter with her schoolwork. Since my daughter is a kindergartener, she needs my help and support most of the time, which keeps me active. In addition to that, I am trying to finish some of my art projects which are mostly small works - watercolors and mixed media on paper that I started long ago but have never had the time to revisit.
What is something that has happened in your career that you are proud of?
Although I have always been artistic, my art career started late, so I am proud of what I have been able to accomplish so far. I believe I have found my own creative voice and visual language, which has been most important to me. I experimented with various media and created numerous artworks which have been part of many exhibitions and can be found in private and public collections in the United States and abroad. In 2013, I received a QCA grant for the individual artists for my audience participatory performance "Brush-Votes - Creating the Creator.” In 2015, my project "You Are What You Eat" was chosen to represent Serbia at the World Expo in Milan, Italy. For the last three years I was awarded a SU-CASA artist-in-residence grant which gave me the opportunity to teach. I am happy with the fact that my ideas are always evolving and finding new forms of expression.
Learn more about Sandra at www.sandravucicevic.com. You can also follow her on Instagram at www.instagram.com/artbysandrav, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/artbysandrav, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sandravucicevic.
Sandra Vucicevic is a multidisciplinary artist and painter, and her work spans from two-dimensional paintings and drawings to conceptual, audience-participatory performances, to her very own jewelry line.
With a focus on nature and reality, Vucicevic’s art blurs the line between the real and the imagined. Her abstract paintings require the participation of the viewer’s eye to create a sense of landscape or cityscape within the canvas.
Vucicevic is inspired with Impressionists such as Monet, and Matisse, but her work straddles the abstract-surrealist line, sort of like Dali kissing Kandinsky on the mouth.
Vucicevic started creating jewelry as a way of promoting her art.
“The jewelry I make is based on my original art. It includes pendant necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings, which feature images of my original paintings, drawings and mixed media. However, I also create tiny paintings and collages directly inside the pendant blanks,” she explained.
Her unique pieces can be found on Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/ARTBYSANDRAV). Each of these miniature masterpieces are one-of-a-kind originals and are created with acrylic paint, resin, found objects (fish-net, crushed glass), etc.
Originally from Belgrade, Serbia, she came to New York in 2005, soon after graduating from law school. Given the opportunity, she went back to school and received her art degree from Hunter College in 2011. Her studio is part of the STUDIO 34 Art Community and located in Long Island City. Wanting to be in the center of an artistic atmosphere and close to Manhattan, Vucicevic found LIC the perfect choice for her studio and work.
She believes the art community in Queens is on its way to becoming “real”. “Compared to other neighborhoods in NYC, it has been mostly unrecognized and underrepresented until recently,” she said. “However, there are many art movements and organizations now who are trying to bring big changes. Their aim is to unite Queens’ artists through festivals, lectures and events and help them recognize themselves as a part of one distinctive art community.”
A few such organizations are the Queens Art Council, Queens Museum, Long Island City Arts Open, JCAL, Astoria Festival and Kew Gardens Art Council, she said.
Vucicevic is currently working on a new series of paintings that are created on found materials and on a group of round paintings. An independent filmmaker, Jessica Fejos, is shooting a documentary about Vucicevic’s work, which will be aired on Queens Public Television at a later date.
The Circle of Life
Contemporary art exhibition at the Serbian Pavilion Expo 2015
The pavilion of Serbia opened the exhibition of contemporary art " Circle of Life ", organized by Gabriella Carlucci and presented at the cluster Bio -Med. The two artists Sandra Vucicevic and Marko Gavrilovic, chosen among the many Serbian artists from the gallery Art Ca ' d'Oro, gave strong and provocative interpretation of the theme of the Expo, which invites move away from consumerism and a way of life that does not take into account the consequences of human actions on the planet and their impact on the future.
The exhibition is open to visitors and will be on display until September 18.
Fania De Risi
The Circle of Life
Mostra d’arte contemporanea al Padiglione Serbo Expo 2015
Il padiglione serbo ha inaugurato la mostra di arte contemporanea “Circle of Life”, organizzata da Gabriella Carlucci e presentata presso il cluster Bio-Mediterraneo.
I due artisti Sandra Vucicevic e Marco Gavrilovic, scelti tra i numerosi artisti serbi dalla galleria
d’arte Ca’ d’Oro, hanno dato un’interpretazione forte e provocatoria del tema di Expo, che invita a
prendere le distanze dal consumismo e da uno stile di vita che non tiene conto delle conseguenze delle azioni dell’uomo sul pianeta e del loro impatto sulle geneazioni future.
La mostra, aperta ai visitatori, sarà visibile fino al 18 settembre.
Fania De Risi
Commenta sotto il video della Rai per Expo
Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine attended a Lifeline New York Cocktail Party humanitarian event in aid of school supplies and winter clothes for orphanages in Serbia at the Fridman Gallery in New York City last night. The event was organised by Lifeline New York Humanitarian Organization and HRH Crown Princess Katherine is the patron.
Paintings of famous Serbian artists from four generations were at display in the Fridman Gallery: Ljubomir Ljuba Ivanovic, member of the Serbian Royal Academy of Arts, his student Ljubica Cuca Sokic, member of the Serbian Academy of science and arts (SANU), Dusko Stojanovic, contemporary artist from Novi Sad and Sandra Vucicevic, who lives and works in the United States.
...The “Make It In America” expo, showcasing products and businesses that call Queens home, was held at the shopping center last Saturday. The event was organized by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing)
Artist Sandra Vucicevic was also at the expo, continuing her project “Brush Votes – Creating The Creator.”
As someone walks by, Vucicevic offers the brush and asks to paint a straight line on the canvas. Then, you write your initials on a separate canvas, which allows her to keep track of how many have contributed to the project.
According to Vucicevic, her project is aimed at getting the public involved in a piece of art as opposed to only looking at what the artist has created.
“The point is to include the community in this project and make them feel like an artist,” said Vucicevic, who is based in Long Island City and lives in Briarwood.
She has taken her project throughout Queens, including at a community arts day last month in Kew Gardens, and will host another “brush votes” performance in Long Island City later this month.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.
“Do you want to participate in a performance?” Sandra Vucicevic asked a passerby on a picture-perfect fall day in Kew Gardens last Sunday.
“I’m not artistic,” the woman hesitated, looking at the offered paintbrush covered in a cheerful green.
“It doesn’t matter, it’s a community art project,” Vucicevic explained.
“Oh, why not,” the woman’s friend said, taking the offered brush and tracing the paint on a canvas which bore the marks of several dozen other participants.
Sandra Vucicevic looks on as two passersby add brush strokes to her project, Brush Votes.
This is exactly the kind of exchange the Vucicevic was looking for. Her most recent project, Brush Votes, is a performance piece where members of the community place a single stroke of paint onto a canvas, allowing the audience to become the artist while Vucicevic looks on.
The Queens Art Council is sponsoring Sandra’s project, but one would think that the idea was developed just for Sunday’s Kew Gardens Community Arts Festival, which had art and artists peeking out of corners and taking over intersections in an effort to showcase the creative talent that is in abundance in the neighborhood – and borough...
An exhibition of paintings by Sandra Vucicevic opened in the premises of the Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia in New York, on 5 September, in the presence of a large number of visitors. The event is entitled "Abstract Space" and comprises paintings made by applying a mixed technique on canvas.
Sandra Vucicevic graduated from the Belgrade Faculty of Law and earned a degree in painting at Hunter College in New York, where she has been living since 2005. During the evening, visitors had the opportunity to take part in the performance called "The creation of a collective artist," leaving their brush strokes on canvas and thus creating a joint painting.