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Autobiography,

About Grandma Anna


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Above:  Angel Babka Silencing the Scream (After Edvard Munch)


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Autobiography

I was born on December 28, 1948, in West Warwick, Rhode Island, but lived in Coventry until I was 21. After graduating from Rhode Island Junior College with a degree in English, I moved out West – living at various times in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana – and settling in New Mexico (USA). I had always wanted to be an artist or a writer and have spent most of my life doing both. In taking this path, I was heavily influenced at an early age by my father. He was a wonderful storyteller and held artists and writers in high regard. In addition, he always wanted to go out West, but it so happened that he was never able to realize that dream.

As a writer, I wrote novels and had stories published in national magazines. I received a literary grant at one point early on – but it was with painting that I have truly come into my own. I am a self-taught artist. The painters I most admire are: Chagall, Picasso, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Henri Rousseau, Modigliani – although what I know I have learned from others too numerous to mention.

My Polish heritage figures strongly in my work. My grandparents immigrated to the United States sometime before World War I, seeking opportunity like so many others. They worked in the textile factories and did their best to blend in. The unfortunate part was that the language was lost, along with the stories they brought with them. Through the miracle of art, however, I was able to turn this to my advantage. Using my imagination, I was able not only to fill in the blanks but also to take my grandmothers on a series of wild adventures in their adopted country.

I have worked at odd jobs, struggled and done without, but in the end it’s been the talent that God has given me to develop that has seen me through. I am thankful for all the people who have helped me, bought, enjoyed, appreciated and honored my work. At this late date, I look back at all the paintings I have done and I am grateful that I turned my life in this direction.

-Michael Andryc

" Through the miracle of art, I was able to turn this (deficit of cultural understanding) to my advantage. Using my imagination, I was able not only to fill in the blanks but also to take my grandmothers on a series of wild adventures in their adopted country."

"Riding with Brando (My Grandmother and The Wild One)"

Grandma Anna Andryc (1876? - 1966)​


'We kids were all afraid of her. She didn't speak English; we didn't speak Polish, and she wielded her cane all over the place. Sometimes, she got both canes going . . .'

Left: Michael Andryc (circa 1958 at age 10) with Godmother Maggie Pasternak (left) and Grandma Anna Andryc, his paternal grandmother (far right), in the only photograph he has of her.


Right: Andryc's Grandmother - From the series Snapshots from the Netherworld. In this rendering, his grandmother enjoys a view of the Anthony Mill in Coventry, RI, outside the window. The Anthony Mill appears in many of his paintings, as four grandparents, both parents, and he all worked there. Today, it is remodeled and is a condominium complex.

Ethnically

Yours,

Babka

"The 90-Year Itch

(My Grandmother in Hollywood)

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