Keeper of the Fire
Serena Kovalosky is well-known for pushing the boundaries of traditional gourdcraft to create fine art sculptures that celebrate the organic form. Kovalosky grew up in rural Washington County, New York and developed an early appreciation for nature. Her artistic inclinations were inspired her father, a professional photographer. She spent a decade studying in Montreal, Canada with professional artists in a variety of disciplines while researching tribal and traditional folk art. She experimented with numerous mediums, but it was a friend’s collection of lacquered gourd art from Olina, Mexico that forever changed the focus of her work. “Holding one of the gourds in my hands, I immediately felt a connection that traveled up my arms and exploded in my heart. I had no clue what a gourd was nor how to work with it, but I was completely and inexplicably smitten,” said the artist. As she honed her techniques, she also met Abenaki and other Native artists who guided her in the spiritual traditions behind their creative process. Kovalosky’s artwork is collected in homes and businesses throughout the world. Her early installations have been the highlight of Montreal’s International Festival. Kovalosky continues to exhibit regularly in museums, juried exhibitions and fine art galleries in the U.S. and Canada. The artist creates out of her studio in Washington County, New York, in the heart of a vibrant artist community.