Bodnar-Balahutrak, an artist based in Houston, explores identity and cultural ties, initiating a discourse about one’s place in the world by piecing together fragments of text, narrative and figuration. The title of her exhibition, “If We Had Known,” was inspired by a poem written by Ukrainian poet Ivan Franko, who writes about the “might and weight of words.” The artist investigates the nature of the written word—how information is revealed and concealed—in her most recent collaged paintings and drawings. She centers her work around current events and politically charged areas of the world, particularly Ukraine, and builds multi-layered foundations of newspaper articles and magazine photos upon which she draws and paints.
Currently on the faculty of the Glassell School of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Bodnar-Balahutrak was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, by parents who emigrated from Ukraine after World War II. She earned a bachelor of science degree in art education from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, and a masters of fine arts degree in painting from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with study at the Corcoran School of Art. An accomplished draftsman, Bodnar-Balahutrak made several trips to Italy over the years to study the work of the Italian masters.
Bodnar-Balahutrak’s work has been featured in numerous museums and galleries throughout the years. Since 2006, she has exhibited at the University of Houston/Clear Lake Art Gallery, Houston; Adair Margo Gallery, El Paso; Nau-Haus Art Space, Houston; Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, Ark.; Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi; the Ukrainian Museum, New York, N.Y.; UIMA, Chicago, Ill.; Hunter Gather Project, Houston; and the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. In 2012, the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Spring presented a solo show of her work, a selection from the past 20 years.
Additionally, Bodnar-Balahutrak’s work is included in selected permanent collections including Oxford University, England; Museo D’Arte Dell’Universita Cattholica, Rome, Italy; Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, New Castle, Pa.; University of Houston; Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler; Amarillo Museum, Amarillo; El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso; and the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi.
The Beeville Art Museum, created and operated by the Joe Barnhart Foundation, is first and foremost a teaching museum, providing cultural and educational opportunities for the citizens of Bee County and surrounding areas.
The Beeville Art Museum, located at 401 E. Fannin St., is open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.