The Eclectic Art of Janet Kozachek: A Retrospective

Jan 4, 2021

​Open Dec 5 – January 31, 2021 in Hampton, SC

Viewing by appointment with additional events and open house opportunities planned. Call 803-842-9842 or email for information.

​Janet Kozachek has led a long and eclectic career as a writer and visual artist, pursuing work and advanced study in Europe, China, and New York. She was the first American to matriculate in the Beijing Central Art Academy (CAFA), where she studied painting, poetry, and calligraphy. At CAFA, she found that poetry was an integral part of painting, enhancing both meaning and joy. The structure of these classical literary forms has had a lasting impact on her art and writing.

After leaving China, Ms. Kozachek moved to the Netherlands with her husband Nathaniel Wallace, to teach with the University of Maryland overseas division for two years. Ms. Kozachek continued to work on poetry translations and ancient Chinese scripts while studying ceramic art at the State Academy of Applied Art in Maastricht. She traveled extensively while in Europe, visiting historic towns, art centers, archeological sites, and numerous museums and galleries.
After returning to the United States she became a graduate student at Parsons School of Design.

During graduate work at Parsons School of Design in New York, Janet Kozachek studied painting and drawing with Larry Rivers, Paul Resika, Leland Bell and John Heliker, and poetry with J.D. McClatchy. It was this brush with McClatchy, then editor of the Yale Review and author of Painters and Poets, that first inculcated the idea for Kozachek that painting and poetry could emanate from the same creative source in western as well as in eastern art.

In South Carolina, Janet Kozachek embarked on a long peripatetic career as an artist in residence and sometimes adjunct professor teaching Chinese art and Mosaic making throughout the state under the auspices of the South Carolina State Arts Commission. Inspired by her study of mosaic art in Ravenna and other in situ archaeological sites throughout Italy, Janet Kozachek founded and became the first president of the Society of American Mosaic Artists in 1999. She wrote for, and co-edited, the society’s quarterly publication, Groutline, and co-authored the catalogue for the first international exhibition of mosaics in the United States. She also actively wrote for Evening Reader Magazine, publishing essays on art and social issues. Her series of one hundred and thirteen small, square figurative paintings became the basis for a long poetry book manuscript, Moments in Light and Shadow, completed in 2017. Select poems from this manuscript have been published in Undefined magazine and the poetry journal Ekphrasis.

Janet Kozachek’s book, My Women My Monsters, was written and illustrated for the most part during her convalescence from a protracted illness, she is also the author of the illustrated book of rhymes for the cat, The Book of Marvelous Cats. She lives with her husband, Nathaniel, in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

This retrospective exhibit includes more than 80 pieces and a mix of many different bodies of work, incorporating Ms. Kozachek’s mosaics, drawings, paintings, ceramics, collages, pastels, and more.