Originally from Czechoslovakia, where he grew up under communist rule, Jozef Bajus, associate professor of design and coordinator of Buffalo State’s fibers program, has traveled widely. Recently, Bajus visited Japan where he encountered the country’s omikuji tying process—where printed prayers are tied to a tree or structure at shrines and temples.
This discovery resulted in an art series that Bajus will discuss, along with his extensive body of work, during a campus talk on how travel has influenced his craft. The talk will be held at Thursday, February 20, at 12:15 p.m. in Upton Hall 230 and is free and open to the public.
Bajus, whose elegant cut paper work was included in the recent Art in Craft Media exhibition at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, was one of three finalists in the visual artists’ category for the 2014 prestigious Slovakian national awards, “Kristalove Kridlo.” He is also the subject of a new book, Jozef Bajus: Long Distance Calls by Ivan Jancar.
Bajus’s lecture is the first in a series to be offered this spring, “Artists on the Road: Travel as a Source of Inspiration,” co-sponsored by the Design Department and the International and Exchange Programs Office.
The series was the brainchild of the Design Department’s Student Concerns/Development Committee, chaired by Carol Townsend.
"In keeping with the goal of internationalization here at Buffalo State, we wanted to expose our students to the value of travel,” said Townsend. “Also, visual arts faculty previously did not have a showcase to share the link between their extensive travels and the creative process, a topic in which many are interested.”
The other design faculty featured in the series are Sunhwa Kim, assistant professor, who will speak on March 20, and Gerald Mead, lecturer, who will speak on April 24. Both lectures will be held at 12:15 in Upton Hall 230.
Kim will discuss “In Search of Asian Lacquer,” how one combines the contemporary and the traditional, Western and Eastern cultures. Mead will present “Travelages: Travel Influenced Collages,” how tiny artifacts from decades of global travel have influenced and served as source materials for several bodies of artwork over the years.
For further information, contact Carol Townsend at (716) 878-4986.
Pictured above: Josef Bajus ties a message to an omikuji stand in Kyoto, Japan.