What Once Was

John Rodak | Sept-Oct 2016

Artist statement by John Rodak

"The renderings in my exhibit, ‘What Once Was’, are graphic testimonials to the endurance and quality of our history. They are meant to remind us of what has gone before, what has been done that has contributed to who and what we are, and to develop an appreciation for our history as a people, a state, a nation. They are part of a simpler time, a time when individuals and families and communities would have something tangible to show for their efforts, compared to today’s fleeting paper fortunes, technology stocks, cell phones, and social media.

I term this work ‘illustrative preservation’ – a method to visually capture the images of statuary, structures and sights that have been all but ‘forgotten’ or soon to be ‘lost’ in this modern age of immediacy. My selection of style is called ‘pointillism’. All pieces are done in dots, with pen and ink, by hand – no computer enhancements, touch-ups, etc. 

This exhibit is an attempt to raise our awareness as to what these elements represent, the place of respect they should have in our collective memories, and what they must have stood for at one time in their heyday. These drawings provide the viewer with the opportunity to appreciate the beauty and importance of these images, to ‘save’ them as a reminder of what once was, and to perhaps spark an interest in keeping these icons available for future generation.

If nothing else, perhaps this display of work will awaken people of all ages to look at these pieces of history with a lot more love and respect and admiration than they had before."