Darina Boldizar was known to almost all Ottawa Slovaks as a sharp businesswoman and mother of two brilliantly intelligent sons.
That's what she worked on when she arrived from Slovakia, and was greatly successful in real estate. Then she retired. And this year, at an amazing exhibition in the Slovak embassy, she showed us herself as a great artist. Can you become a great artist AFTER you retire? Not having studied hard and worked harder at art all your youth? Apparently yes.
Her exhibit at the Embassy was the ONLY big one she has ever had! There were no collection shows of paintings in all-over-the-world cities all over her early life, as most artists go through. So think of the example she has provided as hope for us who had never really thought of it. You can become famous after retirement, if you really try.
Darina's exhibit was widely praised. It encompassed many types of paintings - from still portraits of poeple to action shots of children and adults; from small sizes to a huge long outdoor scenic; from realistic oldfashioned precise styles to modern blurred, darkened and smudged styles. It looked like she learned to do anything. That is something most of us would not expect from one artist. Or maybe even ourselves.
To be fair, you have to acknowledge that her success in business helped her success in art. She admits that she enjoyed keeping in touch with art magazines and reports of what artists were doing all over the Americas and the world. And then using her retirement money to travel to where she could be taught what art was being done, and how to do it.
Her travels were all over the Americas, and much of Europe. There she learned the art style of the area she visited, and did pictures there of what she learned. Her exhibit showed paintings from downtown Montreal to Los Angeles to Belgium and everywhere.
In the opinion of this writer, it is not just Ottawa Slovaks who should feel proud and uplifted that she is one of ours. It is all of Canada, and all of Slovakia.
Darina Boldizar also studied at the Ottawa School of Art, where she received personal instructions from a number ofexceptional prominent modern painters, such as Milt Kobayashi, Kim English and Hongiang Zhang. Her works can be found in private and corporate collections throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Israel.
Here are photographs from the opening of the exhibition at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, which will run until April 30. More information about the Slovak artist can be found at http://darinaboldizar.com
Article: Jan (George) Frajkor, Photographs: Tibor Dej