Director Center for the Arts
Wayne D. McMurray School for Humanities and Social Sciences
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Avenue
West Long Branch, NJ )7764

Monmouth University’s Pollak Gallery recently mounted a breathtaking solo retrospective of Julia Dzikiewicz’s (Je-kev-ich’s) work entitled Women’s History: Passion and Protest. After the success of that powerful exhibition we would like to propose her latest body of work known as “Monsters and Metaphors: Tales of Feminine Power” for your consideration after witnessing first-hand how much it engages and inspires those who experience it.

Julia Dzikiewicz is an incredibly talented self-taught mixed media artist whose work features encaustic paint combined with lights, pieces of jewelry, and other relevant objects. Her artistic process is deliberate, thoughtful, and often introspective. She draws from her lived experience, current events, and women’s history to examine our shared humanity. Her work fearlessly confronts the political landscape, directly addressing its current realities while steadfastly aligning them with her deeply-held values.

Julia’s works begins with the use of encaustic paint to which she meticulously adds three-dimensional elements that can include crystals, items of jewelry, lights and other intentional objects. Each of her 60 x 60” pieces can take up to six months to complete. The resulting works are visually engaging, intricate, and multilayered. Viewers experiencing her work from various vantage points can traverse from its macro to micro elements in an instant.


Julia Dzikiewicz’s exhibition Monsters and Metaphors: Tales of Feminine Power combines fascination with monster movies and medieval art with modern day atrocities. She is intrigued by the quirky visual designs that combine the everyday with the grotesque. One of her favorite places to experience this type of art is the Cloisters in Manhattan, New York which houses a menagerie of hybrid monsters: demons with faces in their human torsos and thighs, unicorns with horse beards, and angels with bird wings. These images inform both the heroes and villains in Julia’s work.

Monsters and Metaphors: Tales of Feminine Power explores the ways in which we both glorify and demonize women. Recent political history, including the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Border Crisis, Storming the Capitol, Me Too, and Election 2016 all fuel the feminist fire in Julia Dzikiewicz’s work.

Most of her painting happens in her studio, a former prison where Suffragists Lucy Burns, Dorothy Day, and 31 other women faced imprisonment in 1917. Their hunger strikes swayed public opinion and eventually won women the right to vote. This place-based history and the spirit of those women inspired Julia’s first painting in this series and continues to inspire her today.

Julia’s vibrant paintings showcase an array of creatures, from sharks and dragons to zombies, penguins, cats, and demons. Through these symbolic beings, she skillfully weaves narratives that uplift the stories of truly remarkable women, champions feminist protests, and sheds light on pressing current events. Like those hybrid creatures of medieval art, this combination of the old, new, monstrous, and magical will captivate viewers of all ages.

The 38 works included in Monsters and Metaphors: Tales of Feminine Power are approximately 20,088 square feet/running feet of wall space. Depending on available gallery space, the works included in the exhibition could be edited as necessary.

“There’s something to be said about being a completely self-taught, self-informed and self-driven artist. It has been said that ‘it has all been done before’ or ‘that there no such thing as original work’” but I have never seen anything like Julia Dzikiewicz’s work  which is what drew me to it in the first place.  Its colorful, powerful, relevant, and extremely engaging – and most importantly, it’s not afraid to say what many of us are JUST thinking.”  Vaune Peck, Director Center for the Arts, Monmouth University.

Encaustic-How to Paint With Fire and Wax

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