Artist’s Statement

What is My Place, Purpose and Power as Artist: Why Am I An Artist?

May 11, 1973

Ben Shahn certainly felt that the search for self

was an oil of the being of himself as artist.

* * * * *

I am an infant in this field of expression. I did not plan to be an artist at an early point. Rather, I “heard” that I was to be that, and I clicked into place.

In the expression of myself in this work, I began to feel the power of making people and animals, trees, houses, and in so doing, there was an added joy. People were enjoying, approving what I did.

La Paloma

That wave was ridden for a while and it was easy

But when it was evident that art was a field of action – influence in a world or universe – I was quite paralyzed in fits and starts.

There is a responsibility I have. I must be my own therapist and find / search for every means possible to release the personal expression of truth – of spiritual footprints on the path I was put onto.

So now, my path is not people made, and animals and houses, but the whole page or shape must be reshaped inside itself to say: choose life. Feel it and live; see it and be moved.

May 11, 1973

About the Author

Sylvia Bubalo

Sylvia Gross Bubalo (Goshen College 1951) was a visual artist and poet. Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Sylvia Gross studied at Goshen College and the Art Institute of Chicago, where she met Vladimir Bubalo, an artist, whom she married. The Bubalos devoted their lives to art, and saw their work as an expression of a spiritual vocation. They lived in Chicago, Scottdale (Pennsylvania), Seattle, and Goshen, Indiana. After Vladimir died in 1988, Sylvia turned from painting to poetry. She died in 2007 in Goshen, Indiana. Her work is the subject of the Journal of the Center for Mennonite Writing, Vol. 2, No. 5. The issue includes an extensive biography, an autobiography, and reflections on her life and work.