Maureen Drdak


Contact Information

maureen@maureendrdak.com

Phone: (610) 649-5694

http://www.maureendrdak.com/

Drawing and Mixed Media

Artist's Biography

Maureen Drdak travels widely in pursuit of her visions; her research has taken her to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, India, Nepal and the Himalayas; Drdak’s work references universal paradigms of mythic archetypes--both ancient and contemporary forces converge in her work. A graduate of the both the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia-- she is the recipient of numerous honors, including the 2011-2012 U.S. Fulbright Senior Scholar Award for Nepal; her Fulbright work, The Prakriti Project, pioneered the first synthesis of repoussé metalwork and contemporary painting. Drdak has received personal support from H. F. Lenfest and Eugene V. Thaw for Lung-Ta, an interdisciplinary collaborative with international composer Dr. Andrea Clearfield inspired by the Tibetan Kingdom of Lo in the Nepalese Himalayas; Lung-Ta premiered at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2009 and had its Midwest premiere at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel in May, 2012. Her work is found in numerous public, private, and university collections within the US and abroad, among them art collectors Berthe and John Ford, Shelley and Donald Rubin (The Rubin Museum of Art), Lynda and Stuart Resnick, Emir and Sheikha Mozah of Qatar, the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, and Yad Va Shem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. Her exhibition history includes numerous solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, international arts festivals, and museum and academic lecture venues by invitation. She has been the feature of media and print, most recently 6ABC News and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She had several published works to her credit, including the Asian international arts and cultural magazine, Marg. Drdak is former President of the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Artist's Statement

My work is an exploration of philosophical and cultural synthesis in which eastern and western iconographies and cultural paradigms are meaningfully integrated, bringing together disparate materials, traditional and contemporary aesthetics, and symbolic language. I enlist and explore imagery that bridges diverse cultural paradigms in the service of transcultural communication. Over the last decade my work has been deeply inspired by my travels in Asia—especially the Himalayas where I conducted my recent 2011-2012 Fulbright research—and the deserts of the American West. These landscapes are powerful metaphors for the universality of physical and cultural forces in opposition and integration, and my selection and application of materials are reflective of these energies in eternal congress. Growing threats to these sublime geographies and their cultures are the ominous forces of global warming, demographic expansion and cultural dislocation.

Believing that the powerful and expressive potential of indigenous ways of seeing and knowing can be effectively harnessed to contemporary art practice, my work endeavors to engage the viewer on a visceral level--thereby visually accelerating meaningful apprehension of these growing forces of degradation and dislocation—increasing awareness of the interrelationship of environmental and cultural preservation. My 2011 Fulbright research fellowship, The Prakriti Project, pioneered and established the first synthesis of repoussé metalwork and contemporary painting; I continue to explore this unique congress of materials and its unlimited expressive potential in my new series Ardens Mundi (Burning Worlds)—a series of large tondi, a format favored during the Renaissance— in which I investigate issues of climate change, cultural fragmentation, and social dislocation.

Selected Exhibitions

Solo and Two-Person
2019
Weeping Banyan, Taragaon Museum, Saraf Foundation, Hyatt Regency, Kathmandu, Nepal
Curator: Roshan Mishra, Museum Director

2016
Independent Perspectives: American Women Artists in Nepal, U.S. Ambassador's Residence, Kathmandu, Nepal

2015
Mixed Media: Maureen Drdak and Youdhisthir Maharjan, Siddhartha Art Gallery, Kathmandu, Nepal
Curator: Sangeeta Rana Thapa

2013
Passage from India: Siona Benjamin and Maureen Drdak, Towson University Asian Art and Culture Center, Towson, MD
Curator: John Gilmore Ford

2012
The Prakriti Project: Eternal Visions - Contemporary Forms, Siddhartha Art Gallery, Kathmandu, Nepal
(Catalog)
Curator: Sangeeta Rana Thapa

2010
From Mustang to Mosul, Lawrence Gallery, Rosemont College, Bryn Mawr, PA

2009
Lungta, Indigo Gallery, Kathmandu, Nepal

Lungta, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

2008
The Planes of Aspiration, Penn College of Technology/Penn State University, State College, PA

2007
The Planes of Aspiration, West Chester University, West Chester, PA

Ex Voto, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

2006
Ex Voto, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA

2005
Maureen Drdak: Recent Works, Charles More and Associates, Philadelphia, PA

Ex Voto, Chestnut Hill College, Chestnut Hill, PA

2004
Ex Voto, Phillip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, Collegeville, PA.
(Catalog)
Curator: Lisa Tremper Hanover, Museum Director

Group
2019 - 2022
Bridging Cultures through Art, Art in U.S. Embassies Exhibition, U.S. Ambassador’s Residence Kathmandu, Nepal
Curator: Sarah Tanguy, Art in Embassies, U.S. Department of State

2019
Downriver in the Multiverse, PAFA Alumni Gallery, PAFA Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Curators, Anna O. Marley, PAFA Curator of Historical American Art, Hiro Sakaguchi, and Brittany Webb, Curator of the John Roden Collection

Innovation and Vitality: 150 Years of Alumni from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Avery Galleries, Bryn Mawr, PA

FAME 2019, HOT • BED Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Curator, Juror: James Oliver, Gallery Director, James Oliver Gallery

2017
Fellowship of PAFA 188th Annual Exhibition, Historic Landmark Building, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Juror: Kristen Jensen, curator, James A. Michener Museum

2016
Fulbright Alumni Artist Exhibition, Gelman Library, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Take Ten: The Gallery Celebrates a Decade of Contemporary Art, The Gallery at Penn College of Technology, Penn State University, State College, PA
Catalog

2015
Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art, Bonhams Galleries, New York, NY
September 14, 2015

Women Artists of Philadelphia, Artist House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2014
Fellowship of PAFA 115th Annual Exhibition, Historic Landmark Building, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Juror: Elizabeth Osborne

2013
There is No Why Here, Larry Wasser Gallery, Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, FL

2012
from portrait to self-portrait, Patan Museum, Nepal Elsa Peretti Foundation

2010
Three Women, Three Stories, Twelve Gates Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Iraqimemorial.org Exhibition, Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, University of Nevada-Reno, Reno, NV

2009
Continuum, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ

2008
5th Annual Betsy Meyer Memorial Exhibition, Main Line Center for the Arts, Haverford, PA

2007
4th Annual Betsy Meyer Memorial Exhibition, Main Line Center for the Arts, Haverford, PA

2005
Area Artists 2005, The Siegel Gallery, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

2000
Art of the State: Pennsylvania 20000, State Museum, Harrisburg, PA

International Art Festivals and Collaboratives

2012
Lungta, Exhibition and Chamberwork Performance, Midwest Premiere, Rockefeller Chapel, University of Chicago, IL

2nd Kathmandu International Arts Festival: Earth/Body/Mind, Patan Museum, Siddhartha Art Gallery, Nepal

2009
1st Kathmandu International Arts Festival: Separating Myth and Reality, Patan Museum, Siddhartha Art Gallery, Nepal

Lungta, Exhibition and Chamberwork Performance Premiere, Network for New Music, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Artist's Bibliography

2019
Forthcoming: Movers and Makers, WHYY

Ao, Bethany. “Meet the only American artist who works with this ancient technique from Nepal,” The Inquirer, Philly.com, 5.14.2019

“Painting Alum’s Art Process Featured on 6ABC", University of the Arts 

Sheridan, Dan. “Local woman transforms sheet metal into works of art", 6 Action News, Photojournalist. 3.29.2019, 5:35PM.

Wornell, Gary. “Tradition and Innovation: Maureen Drdak”, video

2018
MacArthur, Meher. “Reworking Repoussé: The Spiritual Power in Maureen Drdak’s Fusion Metal Art”, 2018

2017
Pollman, Lisa. “Heavy metal: repoussé synthesis innovator Maureen Drdak—in Conversation", Apr 8, 2017

“Eternal Visions and Contemporary Forms; Newar Repoussé inspires a New Material Synthesis”, SPACES Magazine. September, 2017

2015
FAME 2015 Panel Discussion

2012
Slusser, Mary. “The Art of Rabindra Shakya and Maureen Drdak: An Appreciation”, The Prakriti Project: Eternal Visions--Contemporary Forms, Siddhartha Art Gallery, Nepal

Ranjikar, Preema. “Ancient Art Revived”, eKantipur.com, February 17, 2012.

Dhakhwa, Sadichchha. “Fusing Metal, A Collaborative Effort”, ECS Nepal, February, 2012.

“Epitome of Creativity”, The Himalayan Times, February 02, 2012.

Oli, Nischal. “Traditions and Contemporary Expressions”, Friday!Magazine (ECS), Issue 105, February 15, 2012.

2011
"Ethik fur das Leben; Sterben-Sterbehilfe-Umgang mit dem Tod, Schwendemann, Stahlman, and Kruger. Calwer Verlag Stuttgart, 2011.

Verma, Archana. “Artistic Activity in Nepal as World Peace-Artist Profile”, South Asian Arts, January 14, 2011.

"Alumni Spotlight; Maureen Drdak: Beckoning Your Senses”, Preview Magazine, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Fall 2011.

2010
Papademetriou, Zoe. “A Bastion of South Asian Art and Culture in Philadelphia”, South Asian Arts, October 15, 2010.

Donohoe, Victoria. “America with the Big Appetite”, Philadelphia Inquirer: Weekend, February 19, 2010.

2009
Thapa, Sangeeta. “Separating Myth from Reality: Status of Women,” Exhibition Catalog, 262 pgs. Siddhartha Gallery

Tandukar, Surendra. “Her Agony”, The Himalayan Times, November 02, 2009.

Burathoki, Kanchan G. “Separating Myth from Reality”, Republica, October 29, 2009 Nepal.

Burathoki, Kanchan G. “Visual Fest in Two Cities”, Republica, Nepal, October 15, 2009

Bhatta, Pradipti. “A Tribute to the Land of Lo”, NepalTimes, Vol. 03, No. 09, Sept. 25 2009.

“All Aboard the Windhorse”, Edge Magazine, UArts, July 2009.

Cotter, Jim. “Creatively Speaking”, WRTI, February 28, 2009.

Stearns, David Patrick. “A Big Audience for Artistry of Tibet”, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 10, 2009.

Melamed, Samantha. “Art Notes From a Forgotten Land”, Mainline Magazine, March 04, 2009.

Warden, Dawn. “Q & A: Maureen Drdak”, Main Line Today Magazine, February 16, 2009.

2008
Timin, Alyssa. “Looking at Inspiration”, PMP-The Annual Magazine of the Philadelphia Music Project 2008/2009; October 2008.

“Gallery Exhibit by Maureen Drdak Explores Ancient Symbolism”, PCToday, January 15, 2008.

“Exhibit by Maureen Drdak Explores Ancient Symbolism”, Sun Gazette.com, January 10, 2008.

Fowler, Marie. “Area Artist Journey’s to Nepal for Unique Collaboration”, MainLine Times, PA. August 27, 2008.

2005
Gehman, Geoff. “Dynamic Works are Lion’s Share of Lehigh Show”, The Morning Call, Allentown, PA. March 17, 2005.

Fowler, Marie. “Lion Art Exhibit Roars at Chestnut Hill College”, Chestnut Hill Local, Philadelphia, PA. March 31, 2005.

2004
Donohoe, Victoria. “The Expressionist Gesture”, Philadelphia Inquirer, September 26, 2004.

"Ex Voto; The Paintings of Maureen Drdak,” Lecture by Ann Priester, PhD., Philip and Muriel Berman Museum, USA.

Publications

2019
Maureen Drdak’s Small Work, Nepali Times, 2.13.2019.

Drdak, Maureen. “The Flying Nagas”, HIMALAYA, Vol. 34, Issue 2 

Forthcoming, Maureen Drdak with Dr. Deepak Shimkada, “Prakriti; The Creative Force in Art”; book, MARG Publications.

2013
Drdak, Maureen. “The Nagas: Prakriti’s Protectors”; MARG Magazine, MARG Publications, Volume 65, Volume 1, September 2013.

2016
Take Ten; The Gallery celebrates a decade of contemporary art, The Gallery at Penn College, catalog, 72 pgs. 8.25-10.09, 2016.

2012
Earth/Body/Mind, Second International Arts Festival, Exhibition Catalog, 250 pgs. Siddhartha Gallery, Kathmandu, Nepal.

“from portrait to self-portrait”, Antonio Nodar, in collaboration with Elsa Peretti Foundation, Vol. 2.

The Prakriti Project: Eternal Visions—Contemporary Forms, Siddhartha Art Gallery, Nepal. (catalog, 24 pgs.)

2011
Drdak, Maureen. “The Lungta Collaborative; The Living Blessings of Lo”, South Asian Arts, January 14, 2011.

2010
Drdak, Maureen. “The Killing of Lions; An Iraqi War Meditation”, Scribd.

2009
Drdak, Maureen. “The Lungta Collaborative; The Living Blessings of Lo”, Asianart.com.

Drdak, Maureen. “Lungta”, The Global Spiral", E-Pub. Metanexus Institute, April, Vol. 10, Issue 1.

2004
"Ex Voto; Paintings by Maureen Drdak", Philip and Muriel Berman Museum, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. (catalog, 10 pgs.)

Professional Experience

2016 - Present
Visual Artist

Private Tutor

2014 - 2019
President of the Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

2014
Juror, Delaware Valley Art League, 2014 Spring Exhibition, Bryn Mawr Medical Pavilion

2013
Board Member, The Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

2012
Fulbright Discipline Peer Review Panel

Invited Presenter/Panelist, Institute of International Education (IIE)

Juror, Annual Ursinus College Student Exhibition, Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, USA

2011
U.S. Embassy Speaker, Kathmandu University Centre for Art and Design, Kathmandu, Nepal

2009
Lung0Ta Premiere Benefit, Philadelphia, PA

2008
Guest Speaker and Contributor for the Berman Museum of Art Auction Expansion Fund Raiser

1995 - Present
Owner, M. DRDAK DESIGN

1987 - 1995
Master Designer, Franklin Mint International, creative head of 25-man design team for $800m corporation

1976 - 1987
Freelance Designer

1972 - 1976
Private Painting Instructor, Albert Sanski Art Center, Haddonfield, NJ

Awards & Honors

2016
Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award, Art, Nepal
Short-listed

2017-2018 WIND Challenge Exhibition Series, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA
Finalist

2014
Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
M.A. Post Award of Excellence

Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award, Art, Nepal
Short-listed

2013
BEINGHUMAN Residency, Frome, Somerset, U.K.
(declined)

2012
USEF Nepal (Fulbright) Artist exhibition support for KIAF
$1,0000

University of Chicago, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel
Artist Residency

2011 - 2012
Kathmandu Contemporary Art Centre (KCAC)

Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Award for Nepal, The Prakriti Project

2010
Singinawa Lodge, Singinawa Foundation, India
Artist Residency

2008
H. F. Gerry Lenfest, ($10,000 personal support) Chairman, Philadelphia Museum of Art Trustees

Eugene V. Thaw, ($2,000 personal support) International Collector and Hadrian Award Recipient

Independence Foundation Nominee

Lectures and Talks

2019
Forthcoming, Presentation, “Eternal Visions—Contemporary Forms,” Rotary Club of Jenkintown, Jenkintown, PA

2018
“Eternal Visions—Contemporary Forms,” South Asian Studies Association (SASA), Claremont McKenna College, CA

2017
“Consuming Shangrila: Identity Politics and Contemporary Himalayan Art”, Himalayan Studies Conference, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Curator: Elena Pakhoutova. curator of Himalayan Art, Rubin Museum of Art, New York.
Roundtable

“Eternal Visons—Contemporary Forms,” Fulbright Association, Fulbright 40th Anniversary National Conference,Wash. D.C.

Convener/Panel Presenter, South Asian Studies Association Conference (SASA), Claremont McKenna College, CA

2015
“Eternal Visions—Contemporary Forms,” Professional Artist Lecture, the Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA

“The Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: Historic Mission and Future,” Vision, Artist Lecture; PAFA Art-at-Lunch Program, (Public), Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA (4.01.15)

2014
Convener/Panel Presenter, South Asian Studies Association Conference (SASA), Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT

“Contemporary Art Production in the Land of the Living Gods,” Invited Panel Presenter, The Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS) Yale University

“Contemporary Art Production in the Land of the Living Gods, ‘ Artist Lecture; Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), MD

2013
“The Prakriti Project,” student and faculty presentation, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

“Contemporary Art Production in the Land of the Living Gods,” Artist Lecture; McDaniel College, MD

“Contemporary Art Production in the Land of the Living Gods,” Artist Lecture; Walters Museum, Baltimore, MD

2012
“Contemporary Art Production in the Land of the Living Gods,” Artist Lecture, PAFA Art-at-Lunch Program, (Public),
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Phila. (10.24.2012)

“The Prakriti Project,” artist talk, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

“The Prakriti Project,” presentation, Fulbright South East Asia Regional Conference, Cochin, Kerala, India

Nepal TV interview with Shova Manandhar for Aankhijyal and Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists, Nepal

“Eternal Visions—Contemporary Forms,” Artist Talk, Nepal Cultural Studies Group, Siddhartha Art Gallery, Nepal

“Craft or Art? Locating Differences”, Artist Talk, Facilitator Tejesh Man Shakya, Siddhartha Art Gallery, Nepal

“The Importance of Critical Thinking and Analysis for Efficacy in Creativity,” Presenter, Lasanaa Alternative Art Space, Nepal

2011
Selection Panel, Techné Kala Grant Awards, Lasanaa Alternative Art Space, Kathmandu, Nepal

“The Prakriti Project,” Invited Speaker, The Lincoln School, Kathmandu, Nepal

“The Prakriti Project,” Presenter, Fulbright Commission, Kathmandu, Nepal

“The Prakriti Project,” U.S. Embassy Speaker, Kathmandu University Centre for Art and Design, Kathmandu, Nepal

“The Visual Syntax of Contemplative Touchstones and Archetypal Paradigms”, Invited Speaker, Calstate University-San Marcos and Southwestern College, USA

2010
“Three Women; Three Stories,” Artists Talk, Twelve Gates Gallery, Philadelphia, USA

“The Killing of Lions,” Visiting Artist, University of Nevada, Reno, NV

“From Mustang to Mosul,” Artist Gallery Talk, Lawrence Gallery, Rosemont College, USA

2009
“The Prakriti Project,” Artist Talk, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, USA

“The Power of Feminine Iconography,” Invited Speaker, “Separating Myth from Reality Symposium,” Kathmandu Contemporary Art Center, Nepal

Visiting Artist Lecture and Workshop, Kathmandu University Centre for Art and Design, Kathmandu, Nepal

Panelist, “Lungta Symposia,” University of the Arts, Philadelphia, USA

2008
“The Planes of Aspiration,” Artist Gallery Lecture and Presentation, The Gallery at Penn College, Penn College, USA

“Maureen Drdak: Symbolism in Art,” Radio Interview, “The Way with Kent Bunting,” Jan. 2008, Penn College, PA

2007
“The Planes of Aspiration,” Artist Gallery Lecture(s), The McKinney Galleries, West Chester University, PA

“The Planes of Aspiration,” Artist Lecture, Art-at-Lunch Program, (Public), Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PA

“Ex Voto,” Visiting Artist Lecture, Center for the Humanities, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Panelist, Women Artists Roundtable Discussion, The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, PA

2006
“Ex Voto,” Visiting Artist, Massachusetts College of Art, Critical Studies Department, Boston, MA

2005
“Area Artists 2005,” Panelist, Panel Discussion, LUAG, Lehigh University, PA

2004
“The Ashes of Isaac,” and “Ex Voto,” Artist Lectures, Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, PA

Affiliations

U.S.: Heike Rass Art Consulting

Asia and Middle East: Sangeeta Thapa, Siddhartha Art Gallery

Memberships

InLiquid Art + Design

South Asian Studies Association (SASA)

American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA)

The Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS)

Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts/The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Alumni

U.S. Department of State ECA International Exchange Alumni

Philanthropy

2016
Lungta-Compasssion, Intercultural Salon for the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, PA
Honoring former Philadelphia Mayor, the Honorable Michael Nutter

2015
Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art Sale, September 14, 2015, Bonhams Galleries, New York, NY

2011
Artist Contributor; New York for Nepal, Benefit—Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust, Rubin Museum, New York, NY

2009
Lung-Ta Premiere Preview for the Benefit of Lo Kunphen School and Clinic-Tenzin Sango Bista Guest Speaker, Philadelphia, PA
$5,000.00 raised for Lo Kunphen School and Mentsikhang

2008
Guest Speaker and Contributor for the Berman Museum of Art Auction Expansion Fund Raiser

Collections

The Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Permanent Collection

James A. Michener Museum, PA
Permanent Collection

Philip and Muriel Berman Museum, PA Permanent Collection

Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial, Jerusalem, Israel

Penn State University, Penn College of Technology, PA
Permanent Collection

Lehigh University Art Gallery, Lehigh University, PA
Permanent Collection

Donald and Shelley Rubin (The Rubin Museum of Art) NYC, New York

H.H. Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani and H.H. Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned of Qatar

John G. and Berthe Ford (The Berthe and John Ford Collection)

Dr. Andrea Baldeck, Trustee, Philadelphia Museum of Art

JoAnn and Robert D. Huth

Lynda and Stuart Resnick (Forbes 400 List, 2012)

H.M. King Abdullah II and H.M. Queen Rania of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Private collections in Israel, Italy, Nepal and Thailand

Education

2011 - 2012
Fulbright research study under Rabindra Shakrya, OnMetal Shakya Atelier, Patan, Nepal

2010 - Present
The Violette de Mazia Foundation, USA

2009
Private Study under Rabindra Shakya, descendant of Kuber Singh Shakya, Shakya Atelier, Nepal

1976
Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

1975
Philadelphia College of Art (currently University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
BFA in Painting

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Certificate in Painting

1973 - 1974
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA