Joyce Zavorskas

Place That Matters
27″ x 18″ monotype, 2012


The activity of erosion presents images of natural disorder. Similar to our contemporary culture and circumstances, under siege from wars, recession, and political discontent, the forces of nature disrupt the stoic harmony of familiar landmarks. Wind, rain, gravity and the rising seas pound against the sand and clay cliffs, creating intriguing rhythms and patterns, but hastening their imminent demise.

My recent monotypes and etchings investigate earth’s colors and forms, and record aspects and oddities of erosion. I transform ink into ocean and earth, and construct layered surfaces that become cliffs or ocean or clouds, or simply remain abstract rhythmic patterns. I create my monotypes with thin layers of luminous oil-base etching ink applied with soft rubber brayers on a plexiglas plate. The ink image transfers to rag paper once only using a manual etching press.

Layers of pigment on paper relate to layers of land observed over time, like the partnership of mankind with the universe, a connection often overlooked. Places that matter, where ocean encounters sand, have a quiet dignity, enduring adversity from the forces of nature with stoic calm and acceptance.


Continuing a lifelong connection to earth and ocean, Joyce Zavorskas has exhibited in London, Paris, New York, Philadelphia, California, as well as Boston, Cape Cod and the Islands. Her recent paintings, monotypes and etchings document the constantly changing coastal environment. She paints from direct observation in nature throughout the year, hiking cliffs, dunes and waterways with backpack and easel. In winter, Zavorskas paints studio contemporary abstract oils based on specific sites, taking time to reflect and experiment. These canvases feature layers of crusted paint imbedded with organic matter, to further engage the viewer with the wildness of nature.

Zavorskas received a BFA at Syracuse University, M.A.T. at Bridgewater State University, and MFA in Painting and Printmaking at MassArt. Residencies include Vermont Studio Center, Great Spruce Head Island in Maine, Master Printmaker at Contemporary Artists Center in North Adams, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and Artist in Residence at Cape Cod Community College.

Zavorskas has won numerous awards including the Ture Bengtz Printmaking Award at South Shore Art Center, First Prize in Printmaking at the 17th Annual All Cape Cod Art Show, and First Prize in Painting at Copley Society in Boston and Cape Cod Art Association.