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Holley Bakich's Fine Art Portfolio

Holley Bakich Curriculum Vitae

Bachelor of Fine Arts - Sculpture,
University of Missouri-Columbia, summa cum laude

Solo Exhibitions

The Bakich Sideshow
Atomic Testing Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada,
June-July 2008

Under the Big Top - Holley Bakich

The Flying Pig Gallery, Algoma, Wisconsin,
June-July 2007

Amazing World of Freaks, and Beliefs, Myths
and Mysteries

Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, St. Joseph, Missouri, November 2002-January 2003

Sky Lore
Hal Marcus Gallery, El Paso, Texas, April 2000

Mythology in 3 Dimensions
Hal Marcus Gallery, El Paso, Texas,
February-March 1999

Group Exhibitions

Wisconsin Painters & Sculptors
Reuss Federal Plaza Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
December-January 2008

Inaugural Show
Barrow and Juarez Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August-September 2006

The Kaleidoscope Exhibit
Almont Gallery, Waukesha, Wisconsin, October 2005

Wisconsin Artists Biennial
Anderson Arts Center, Kenosha, Wisconsin,
July 2005 - Merchandise Award

Art Pop!
Taylor's, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 2004

Day of the Dead Art Ofrendas Exhibit
Latino Arts, Inc. Art Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October-November 2003

Figures in Sculpture, Featuring Holley Bakich
and D. Claudio

Hal Marcus Gallery, El Paso, Texas, August-September 2001

Time Flies: Artist Made Clocks
Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, St. Joseph, Missouri, October-November 2000

Culture Cruise Show
Hal Marcus Gallery, El Paso, Texas, May 2000

Don't Myth It
Embellishment Gallery, Houston, Texas,
July-August 1999

2nd International Miyuki Delica Challenge
Caravan Beads Gallery, Portland, Maine,
May-June 1999

Juntos Art Competition: Festival Internacional de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe
Hispanic Leadership Institute Gallery, El Paso, Texas, January 1999/ January 2000
Honorable Mention 1999, 3rd Prize 2000

Higher Dimensions
Zographia Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri,
June-July 1994

Senior Exhibition
University of Missouri-Columbia Art Department Gallery, Columbia, Missouri, May 1991

Intercollegiate Art Show
Columbia Art League, Columbia, Missouri, October 1990/1991 - First Prize Mixed Media 1991

Missouri Student Association Purchase Prize
Craft Studio Gallery, Columbia, Missouri,
April 1990/1991 - Purchase prize 1990

First National Bank Show
Craft Studio Gallery, Columbia, Missouri,
November 1990/1991

The King and Queen of Sleepytown
(Joint show with Mark Inman)
Craft Studio Gallery, Columbia, Missouri,
February 1990

Invitational Student Show
University of Missouri-Columbia Art Department Gallery, Columbia, Missouri, March 1989/1990/1991


Bead & Button magazine
June 2008, Issue 85
"Your Work" section featured one of my beaded bird embroidery pieces.

That's Clever (HGTV show), episode 217
Aired August 16, 2006
I carved a wooden, bird-shaped keyholder as one of the three segments covered in the half-hour show.

El Pasoan Delves into World of Freaks
by Jennifer Shubinski in the El Paso Times
November 26, 2002
Article about artist's series of 10 sculptures and banners commemorating famous sideshow performers from the past.

Full Circle by Michael D. Hernandez in the
El Paso Times
September 29, 2000
Article about two embroidered and quilted covers (created by the artist) for a Holocaust Torah; the covers were donated to Congregation B'nai Zion synagogue by a member, in honor of her father, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The Art of Myth by Sarah H. Sparacio in the
El Paso Times
February 16, 1999
Article about artist's body of work concerning the world's mythologies.

2nd International Miyuki Delica Challenge
Show Catalog
, 1999
A photograph of artist's piece, Amaterasu, was included in this catalog of the show.

Artist's Statement

I want to tell you a story--either an ancient myth, a religious epiphany,or the tale of a remarkable person--in images and symbols. In my artwork, I guide people beyond the real world to see the essence of life. We are more than our bodies. We are more than the symbology of our belief systems. The material world cannot truly describe what makes us human and what makes up the divine. Through my art, I want to take you on a journey that sees beyond the real world to the heart of human nature.

A real beauty exists in people who reach beyond themselves to discover the universe's inner workings and to answer the question "Why are we here?" The stories that make up the core of human spirituality provide an endless source of topics for my art. I depict the intricacies and symbologies of the world's religions and convey the inspiring stories found throughout these belief systems. I often relate Asian mythologies, Greek and Roman tales, and Christian stories and symbolism.

What makes us human is another subject I explore in my work. The human form contains considerable beauty, and in great variety, but the inner lives of people and their effects on others can be just as fascinating. Through my sideshow (a group of 10 sculptures depicting famous sideshow performers), I explore the humanity of people who do not conform to "normal" standards of beauty. These works comment on American society's issues with body image and the narrow definition of what is beautiful.

In my newest series, Fantastic Creatures, I explore what people have believed to be true not only in the distant past, but also in current urban myths. The pieces draw on the explorations of Sir John Mandeville in the Far East during Medieval times, touch on myths of little-known giant creatures, and examine current myths such as the Mothman and the Jersey Devil. This series explores what we are willing to believe and the desire for the unbelievable to be true.

I strive to bring craftsmanship to my work as I bend traditional processes to my will. Beads, sequins, and gold and silver leaf have a jewel-like quality that imparts a sacred and spiritual feeling to my work. The materials I select have a tactile quality that elevates the images above two dimensions in a pleasing sculptural way.

Hand-sewing leather and fabric--one of my favorite techniques--takes a great deal of time and patience. This allows me to give each work a part of myself through the meditative quality of the creative process. Leather also represents skin well, so my figures possess a more lifelike quality that draws the viewer in. I also enjoy working with wood because of its wonderfully malleable form, as well as lovely coloration and grain. It is exciting to shape and form this material to my desires and to know it will last for hundreds of years.

I live and work in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My husband, Michael is an astronomer and Senior Editor of Astronomy magazine.

copyright Holley Bakich, 2010
Milwaukee, WI
Holley Bakich's email address