Our Weekly Spotlight on the Arts is shining on Libbyanne Mikulewicz!
Meeting Libbyanne at the Opening Reception of an art show which she recently organized was none other than absolutely electrifying! Her passion for what she does at any given moment – be it painting an array of colorful portraits, working as the General Manager at The Rex, scouting out well-loved skateboards to upcycle into wall art, or one of her many other projects in motion is highly reflected in her zest and love for “all things art”.
Libbyanne has turned up the heat on a hot Southern Maryland summer, basking in the launch of a successful new exhibit that features her work and those of other local creatives. “Art at the Rex” debuted on July 30th, 2020, with a COVID-compliant reception complete with social distancing, masked patrons, and a fabulous turnout despite the challenges of making plans during a pandemic.
Along with a group of friends, Libbyanne transformed the whole sidebar room of a Downtown Leonardtown hot spot into an amazing display of many different themes and styles – this is not your typical art show! Down came the vintage movie theater posters, treasures of their own right, meticulously set aside to make way for new ideas and inspirations.
From “Spiderman” perched on top of The Rex itself, glossy crabs awaiting their fate or freedom, a portrait of a young lady sporting an 80’s punk rock spiky hairdo further accessorized with a dangling cigarette, to the innocent eyes of a small child, a turtle on an untold mission, and an eclectic skateboard deck ramped up with bold statements of life, this show has it all and more!
Both carefully and casually curated, Libbyanne wanted to bring something new and fresh to her workplace. During the temporary closure of the restaurant she found herself with extra time to focus on her paintings. One piece led to another, and more, and even more as the quarantine continued. As many venues were canceling their events, Libbyanne became focused on creating one, not only for herself but for her fellow artists as well.
A little bit of perspective and history – Libbyanne has been drawing in one form or another pretty much her whole life. She started with charcoal drawings and subsequently progressed to oils and acrylics. She spent 23 years as a hairstylist of which influences are often directly reflected into her artwork. Avant-garde hairstyles laced with hints of rebellion and not-so-subtle self-expression, incorporated in images of usually women, are a common denominator in her work.
A “perfect” painting to her may often possess a raw, unfinished look, an intentional statement about the ambiguities and complexities of life and relationships. Moments captured and forever immortalized on an oversized canvas are a specialty for Ms. Mikulewicz.
St. Mary’s County is home for Libbyanne as her family members now live nearby. Planting roots, a new job direction, and a budding art business (almost all of her pieces at The Rex sold within a few days!) will hopefully keep her here for a long time as she grows her multi-faceted careers.
Keep shining Libby, we are very much looking forward to your next exhibit and future artwork!
(Photos of drawings provided by artist, to see more of her work visit Libbyanne M9 @irate_desperado on Instagram, or stop by The Rex in Leonardtown to see the current show on display through the month of August).