Letter to My Mother: The Artwork of Raya Bodnarchuk

Please join us at the opening reception in Gallery 31 on April 16th from 6 to 8 p.m.

This exhibition features the drawings, paintings, sculpture, and ceramics of Raya Bodnarchuk, a Corcoran faculty member for over 30 years.  Bodnarchuk’s work captures the essential characteristics of her plant, animal, and person subjects with a tender optimism bolstered by her bold formal execution.  The artwork on view in Gallery 31 is a small survey of work made during her time at the Corcoran.

Dear Mother,

Can you believe I am retiring from the Corcoran after teaching for 32 years!

I feel I've been fortunate in so many ways − my colleagues were also my friends and my students always reminded me of what learning about art was like when I was their age. Though it comes down to doing my best work alone, I've also been surrounded and supported by people who experience the same struggles, share the same sense of enjoyment and celebrate the same accomplishments.

I appreciate so much what you and Daddy gave me. I didn’t realize that I would be following in your footsteps. You were a great teacher for me and for all your students, and I learned from your example that pursuing very simple ideas can lead to a fulfilling life’s work. I believe that began when I was one-and-a-half and you gave me a shot glass of water and a little brush to paint on the refrigerator. Your encouragement and patience are unforgettable.

--Excerpt from Letter To My Mother, February 24, 2014