Marita Chustak is an artist from Mishawaka, Indiana. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Art degree in Integrated Studio Practice from Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis. She works with both traditional and modern techniques, and explores many mediums including metal, printmaking, ceramics, and photography. Chustak’s work grapples with the realities of life by connecting her own experiences with the broader cosmic experience, reaching toward the essential truths of our universe.
My work as an artist has been diverse in tone, media, style, and subject matter throughout the years. I have always felt that art is about exploring both the world and yourself—about learning, experimenting, and growing. I have never felt comfortable tucked neatly inside one box. I work with clay, copper, brass, iron, resin, pastel, paint, paper, inks—I do intaglio etchings and digital renderings, installations and videos, photography and drawings, functional ware and written pieces. I join together very traditional means of making things (such as printmaking and ceramics) with modern digital techniques, and I work in ways that are both intuitive and methodical.
While piece by piece my work varies, there are consistencies that can be found throughout the body of work as a whole. My work heavily expresses organic elements, whether they are crude rough lines that mimic the flow of winds or exacting mandalas that mimic the exactitude of organic structures. Pattern and mark making play heavily in what I do. I often dwell on things that I have seen or felt, and on my cultural heritage. I feel that given the right frame of reference, these things become universal to the human experience.
Through my art practice I try to better understand the world and reflect the truth that I find. My body of work often has an air of emotionalism and yet also a scientific sensibility. I do not think of myself as the sole creator of my favorite pieces, but rather a co-creator. When doing intaglio etchings, I join forces with the process and both I and the physical realities of the process dictate the work. In my Wreath series, I take images of nature and extrapolate large mandalas from them digitally. Again, it is a co-creative process. I lean into the materials and processes that I am using, and let them help dictate the end result. I join with my frame of mind, with nature, with culture, and with the world, to make, see, and grow.