Contemporary Folk Art Pop
Angel Babka Holding Back the Flames
When Westside Studios went up in flames on Santa Fe’s West Alameda in 2012, Michael Andryc, was among at least a dozen individuals and groups displaced in the middle of the night. The event forced immediate change and growth in what was otherwise a comfortable (albeit rustic) environment. Andryc had resided and painted at Westside Studios for 26 years while living the life of an artist: painting, showing, selling in the out of doors, selling in galleries, engaged in the flow of art that infuses Santa Fe, Taos, Abiquiu, and all other towns New Mexican.
For Andryc, life in his beloved Santa Fe was at a turning point. Facing a higher cost of living, he could no longer afford to live there, create there, thrive there. So he did what many Santa Feans have done - he moved to the Big City, Albuquerque. Andryc “went indoors” to show and sell work and participated in five of the nationally-ranked festivals sponsored by Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Association.
At the same time, he became involved in two art venues on the “Loop” from Santa Fe, “up The Hill” to Los Alamos, through the Jemez Mountains, and to Albuquerque. He became an active member/artist at Jemez Fine Art in Jemez Springs where he regularly shows and sells his work in the main gallery. He also entered juried shows affiliated with Fuller Lodge Art Center in Los Alamos, NM. There, he has had work accepted into 12 themed shows each with distinct juries and culminating in a PORTAL solo exhibit in 2018, Haunted by Picasso thru the Streets of Warsaw. Also during this time, Andryc had two paintings selected by national and international juries, one in Taos, NM, the other in Providence, RI.
Now 70, Andryc says he always wanted to be an artist or a writer and is grateful that he spent most of his life doing both. He grew up in Coventry, Rhode Island, in a Polish-American family of six children. In taking this path, he was heavily influenced at an early age by his mother, a homemaker, and his father, a florist, a fisherman, and a natural storyteller who held artists and writers in high regard. His father always wanted to go out West, but it so happened that he was never able to realize that dream. But after graduating from Rhode Island Junior College with a degree in English, Michael did just that and moved out West himself – living at various times in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. He settled in northern New Mexico in the early ‘80s. There he and his young family lived in a teepee while building a stone house on an acre of land in the high mountains.
Still living the dream and following his star, Michael Andryc says he hopes always to be considered “an emerging artist” and hopes to continue painting the best work he can in the time remaining.
Artist Studios Burn
by T. S. Last/JOURNAL Staff Writer/September 1, 2012
1) Lady Godiva in Coventry, Rhode Island
2) My Grandmother Trying To Convince the Dutch Masters that Smoking Is Bad for their Health
3) Rendezvous in the Petroglyphs (The Missing Episode)
4) Edgar Allan and The Ravens (A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Tomb)