Pat Proniewski was awarded a first place for her landscape Who Paints the Earth at the Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County, PA members show The Four Elements: Earth, Water, Air & Fire during the Celebration of the Arts weekend in 2017.
What are your most significant contributions to the arts in our community?
Pat Proniewski ‘s current work includes floral compositions, and she continues to be inspired by the land while she explores the boundary between the history of farming and our imaginary renderings of farming. Proniewski’s paintings have been seen in numerous local and national juried shows throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, including the prestigious “Ellarslie Open,” at The Trenton City Museum, and “The Annual Art Show at Phillips’ Mill,” in PA. She was awarded a first place for her landscape “Who Paints the Earth” at the Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County, PA members show “The Four Elements: Earth, Water, Air & Fire.” Additionally, she received First Place for her painting “Final Thaw, Sunny Lane Farm” as part of the Preserved Farmlands Vision Art Exhibit, Smithville Mansion Annex Gallery, Burlington County, New Jersey, and received the Purchase Award for the same work. Other first place awards include a First Place Award for the 28 East Gallery Garden Tour Plein Air Event, Burlington City, New Jersey, and a First Place Award in the Willingboro Art Alliance Landscape Show. Proniewski received The Second Place Award for “The 2017 Mercer County Senior Art Awards for Professional Art in Oil Media,” at Meadow Lakes, Hightstown, Mercer County, NJ. Additionally, her awards include a Second Place Prize for her floral painting in the Willingboro Art Alliance Floral Show, Lyceum Hall, in Burlington City, New Jersey, a Third Place Prize in the WAA 2016 Smithville Art Alliance Open Show, Easthampton, New Jersey, and an Honorable Mention in the Artsbridge Summer Arts Festival Exhibit, New Hope, PA. Proniewski is an active member in several art communities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania including The Artists of Yardley, Artsbridge, The New Hope Art League, The Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County, and The Willingboro Art Alliance. Proniewski received international recognition with a “Meritorious Award” for her painting “American Beauty” from the 2017 Richeson 75 Still Life and Floral Online International Juried Competition. The work was published in the book 2017 Richeson 75 Still Life and Floral Competition.
How Can You Inspire Others?
I’ve been asked to share some inspiring words with our arts community. I’m not certain I can be inspirational, but I can share something I often say when I’m encouraging my children, students and friends. That is, “Life is short. Go for it. Make every day count.” To me that translates into two things: making time to do the things I really love, and spending time with those I really enjoy. Don’t leave it for the future that may never come, or a day when you have the time but aren’t physically able. And don’t stress about your ability to do it. We visual artists know about the anxiety of staring at the blank canvas. That can translate into many other avoidance behaviors like, cleaning the house, or answering another email, or checking Facebook one more time. Just start and “it” will happen. The skill will come as you engage in the activity, seek out positive people in the artistic community to grow with and learn from, and research what things you need to know to keep you moving forward. I’ll end with a quote from William Daley, a wonderfully positive person and ceramic artist whom I admire. He closes his lectures and writings with these words: “Live the days!”
How did your career in the arts begin?
Pat Proniewski received her BA degree in art education at Georgian Court University where her primary studio focus was painting and ceramic art. While living briefly in NYC she worked in an advertising agency and took studio arts courses at the School of Visual Arts, later returning home to Toms River, New Jersey to teach high school art. She moved to Trenton, New Jersey to continue her 37 year career teaching high school visual arts. During that time her painting work took a turn toward realism while studying with Mel Leipzig. She began to slowly move away from painting and towards full time clay work from 1995 to 2013 as she designed and implemented a full time ceramic program. Her work primarily in clay led her to graduate study in ceramics at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, additionally taking professional workshops with ceramic artists William Daley, Jimmy Clark, and Linda Arbuckle Over the course of two decades, Proniewski experimented with many processes with clay including sculptural forms constructed from wheel work, pit firing, and raku firing.
Retirement from teaching allowed Proniewski to return to painting while still working in clay. Her attraction to the landscape during the past two years has shifted her interest to painting full time, while she continued her professional painting development by studying with artists such as John Ennis and Ray Roberts. Proniewski paints primarily in oil in a realist style, and clearly she finds nature her greatest source of inspiration. Sunlit scenes, especially those intensely lit during the late afternoon, lure her to paint the landscape and reflect a vibrant palette.