Maureen Drdak | Global Artist

The Flying Nagas, Maureen Drdak 2012Maureen Drdak Certificate ‘75 PAFA is a contemporary world artist and the 2011-2012 Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Award for Nepal (Prakriti Project). Drdak travels widely in pursuit of her visions, and her research has taken her to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, India, Nepal and the Himalayas. Drdak’s work references universal paradigms of mythic archetypes, their capacity for cultural bridging, and their relevance in contemporary space—both ancient and contemporary forces converge in her monumental paintings.

“As a recent Fulbright Senior Scholar, my latest work in Nepal has inspired a renewed appreciation of my debt owed to PAFA, and upon reflection, I can clearly see that the School was crucial to my development as a global artist in two fundamental respects,” explains Drdak.

“Firstly, PAFA was responsible for the strength of my development as a figurative artist—by that I mean an artist who is invested in form. I feel that one of the most invaluable aspects of PAFA’s curriculum is the commitment to material excellence and form. Abstraction, theory, and new mediums are all important components of an artist’s development, but their expressive efficacy is diminished without a firm grounding in material and form. One of the major aspects of the dynamism exemplified by global contemporary art today is this very appreciation of material tradition and its expressive potential.

“Secondly, PAFA gave me a unique sense of cultural grounding from which I feel well prepared to effectively approach, investigate and connect to other cultural traditions within visual art. As a global artist, I continue to benefit from an appreciation of American art and my sense of place within that historical heritage and cultural place unique to PAFA’s tradition. The Academy enabled me as an artist to critically examine my place and tradition, and from this place of departure to meaningfully and creatively explore, examine and identify places of trans-cultural nexus throughout the global community.”