Star Crossed Lovers …

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By Nick Cibrario

The Kenosha Art Association invites its members and the area artists of all ages to exhibit their work at the Annual Spring Art Event on Saturday, April 5th, at the Kenosha Public Museum at 5500 First Avenue.

The following is the schedule:

  • Registration of artwork, 12:00-1:00pm
  • Reception & Judging, 12:30-1:30
  • Presentation, 1:45-2:45
  • Awards and Prizes; 2:45:3:15.

For more information contact KAA, 262-654-0065.

John Hansen and Maria Varga-Hansen will be the guest speakers in the Daimler Chrysler Room. The subject of their presentation is “Art is for Everyone.” This amazing couple who met later in life became star-crossed lovers. They were separated from each other, not only by two continents, but by the Atlantic Ocean.
John Hansen“My life in Racine changed radically when I met Maria on the website of an artist community called, “Wet Canvas.” I was attracted to the dreamlike quality of her unique encaustic paintings and her meticulous attention to detail,” said John.

Maria was also impressed by John’s intense emotions and the creative style of his abstract digital images. While communicating about art and discussing their work for a year via the internet, they became good friends.
John said, “I flew to Budapest, Hungary to meet Maria at her cottage on Lake Balaton. We immediately fell in love with each other. After three more visits, we traveled to Las Vegas, where we were married on May 30, 2009. We had our wedding day dinner at a romantic mountain top inn. After our honeymoon we settled down in Racine.”
Maria Varga-Hansen Even though Maria was 61 years old and John was 6o when they were married, neither one of them had become artists until later in life. Maria said, “My mother wanted to be an actress, but my father didn’t allow it. To satisfy her own unfulfilled wishes, she encouraged me, ever since I was a small child, to pursue a career in acting. After getting a college degree in drama at the Actor’s Academy in Hungary, I spent eight years performing in different theaters. Suddenly one day I realized that acting was not for me.”
“I was born to be an artist because I see the shapes and colors of the world with the eye of an artist,” continued Maria. “As a child I was always drawing and painting, but I stopped when I was studying to be an actress. I was 40 years old when I became enlightened. Finally I realized I had to draw and paint again. After some years of struggling, I became an artist. I like paintings which come from the heart and also show skill. It doesn’t matter if they are traditional, realistic, surrealistic, or modern. I do my best to express myself, my thoughts, my love, and how I see the world. I believe the purpose of art is show the beauty of life, to share, and show the way,” commented Maria. “Prior to getting married, I taught art classes and held shows in Greece, Austria, Switzerland, and Hungary.”
John had a similar experience of discovering his talent later in life. He said, “My family was not artistic. My dad was a middle level executive and a self-taught engineer. My mother was a typical stay at home housewife. I wanted to go to Layton School of Art to study in Milwaukee, but my father insisted that there was no future in art. I studied at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, Technical College, and UW-Parkside. In spite of getting two degrees, I was not happy in the work force.
“Eventually, I realized that my true identity as an artist had been put off for 35 years. I finally did what came naturally to me, which was two dimensional art,” said John. “My cousins introduced me to the computer world by giving me their old 95/98 Windows computers, which were ineffective. I eventually bought my own computer and downloaded cheapo raster digital art programs. This led me to do digital abstract fine art. Since 2004 I have created over 7,000 pieces of digital art.”
Maria and John jointly exhibited their artwork at Northern Lights Gallery, Mitchell Wagon Works, Spectrum School of Arts Gallery, Pollard Gallery, Wustum Museum, Arte Piso Gallery, and the Marshall Building in Milwaukee. For more information see their websites.