Edith Baker Art Scholarship Finalist from home country of Edith Baker!

"Saint Elijah" Pavlina Panova

For Pavlina Panova moving to America was more than just a new start in a new country; it was the beginning of what Panova calls her “new creative life.”

“Metaphorically speaking, America made me an artist,” Panova says.

In 1999 the North Lake College art student left her native Bulgaria where she was an established author, literary critic and teacher and moved to America with her family. As an expert in Bulgarian language and literature, Panova found herself in an unfamiliar country deprived of language — what she calls her basic and best tool for communication. So, Panova turned to another form of communication, art. While taking ESL classes at NLC, she began making pictures with pressed leaves and natural objects.

As her interest in making these pictures grew, Panova realized she needed to learn new techniques in order for her work to progress. Since she does not apply any paint or other elements to her work her biggest challenge is preserving the natural colors and textures. To overcome this, Pavlova went back to school to learn more about art and gain a new appreciation.

“I gained not only practical skills, but also theoretical knowledge which has influenced my work tremendously,” she says. “I developed a new technique called ”œpainting with leaves” and created my first abstract pieces. My goal now is to explore and improve the style: from miniatures to big wall compositions; from folk motives and natural expressions to human images and abstract pieces. In all my experiments, I enjoy the creative freedom in NLC and the support of the faculty.”

Panova is excited to continue her education at North Lake College and intends on graduating in 2011. After graduation she would like to continue working on her art while teaching workshops that focus on the art of pressed leaves and clay. Panova hopes to one day writing a book that chronicles the two creative aspects of her live, writing and art, which for her symbolizes a blending of two cultures.

“I am honored and humbled to be a part of an art event named after Edith Baker. For me, to participate in the show is much more than an opportunity to exhibit my work,” Panova says.

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