"My artwork," says Meler, "examines actual and constructed memory, especially as it related to my upbringing in Poland and immigration to the United States, my recollections of the places I occupied in Poland and in my initial years in Chicago. Rebecca Solnit captures my immigration experience in The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness when she writes, "The thing we call a place is the intersection of many changing forces passing through, whirling around, mixing, dissolving, and exploding in a fixed location."
"Memory is liminal. Remembering a place is not an act of recollecting the actual place but our last memory of that place. Therefore, my work is often an abstraction of a place, space, building, folktale, or event that had a lasting impression. I use images that reference my father's elaborate gardens, my mother's colorful textiles, the Slavic folktale of the Baba Jaga, and the majestic skyscrapers of Chicago. Images repeat, change direction and dominance. All of these actions mimic the actions of memory."
Monika Meler is originally from Brodnica, Poland, and earned her BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. She continued her studies at Purdue University, where she earned an M.A., followed with an M.F.A from the Tyler school of art, Temple University. While at Tyler, Monika spent a year studying in Rome, Italy. Monika is an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. She has completed residencies at the Kala Art Institute on Berkeley, Emmanuel College in Boston, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Connecticut, the Frans Masereel Center in Belgium, the Cork Printmakers in Ireland, and the Women's Studio Workshop in New York. Solo Exhibits include The Distance Between at the Limerick Printmakers Gallery in Ireland and Contain/Retain at the Cocoon Gallery in Kansas City.