Emerging Artists Series: MaryLou Kolojeski

November 5–December 3, 2019

The Friedman Art Gallery occasionally features an “Emerging Artist” exhibit, highlighting the work of an unknown local artist. As part of this series, the Gallery is pleased to introduce the artwork of MaryLou Kolojeski, a painter in acrylics.

MaryLou Kolojeski lives in the Kingston area. She grew up in a very creative household, where all of the members of her family specialized in one form of art or another: photography, writing, drawing, interior decorating, sewing, singing, dancing, or jewelry making. MaryLou always loved art; as a child she started with paint-by-numbers, and then with her mother’s assistance moved on to a variety of artistic projects as she grew older.

Ms. Kolojeski was born with epilepsy, and that challenge brought on a multitude of other health issues over time. In November 2018, she was drowning in medical debt and attempted to sell things from her home. Nothing was moving, so she searched online for ideas and was inspired by silhouettes. When she posted her first painting of a silhouette, it sold within minutes. From then on MaryLou started learning about blending, shading, and other art techniques from YouTube tutorials, and over time she discovered that she is capable of creating a wide variety of paintings. “I’m almost done paying off my medical bills, thanks to these paintings. Once that’s finished, I plan to start donating 10% of my profits to help others who are overwhelmed with medical debt.”

MaryLou explained, “Painting has always been therapeutic and helpful with my condition.” She smiled. “I like to call myself a stress painter. I get inspired whenever I’m feeling an extreme emotion, whether it’s anger, excitement, or sadness. After I finish the painting it’s like a breath of fresh air, and a calm comes over me for the rest of the day.”

MaryLou’s favorite subjects to paint range from landscapes to flowers, and she’s “always looking for new inspiration.” The self-taught artist acknowledged, “I’ve never had any schooling in art, but it would be nice to take an art class one day. All I’ve used are acrylics, but I’d like to try out oils in the future as well.”

MaryLou reflected, “The lesson here is to have confidence in yourself and to simply try.”

If you are interested in supporting this talented emerging artist by purchasing one of her paintings, please contact Jonathan Pineno, Gallery Director (570-675-9159, [email protected]).

The Penn State Wilkes-Barre Friedman Art Gallery is open to the public, except during holiday breaks, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am–4:00 pm. This “Emerging Artist” exhibit is running from November 5–December 3, 2019.