Cedar Rapids artist Vaclav O. Hasek inaugurates the new CSPS first-floor gallery with a show addressing the flood of 2008 and issues of cultural identity.
Hasek’s work explores the curious talent Americans have for re-inventing themselves and their culture. “We don’t need to look to any other authority to produce our culture,” he says, “since who we are is determined every time someone decides to take action.”
Vaclav’s mixed media works ask: “How do Americans determine group and self-identity?” “What separates the “us” from the “them?” “And just how much of what they’re selling are you buying?”
The Cedar Rapids native’s playful use of symbols and materials is provocative and stunning. Vivid colors tangle with cultural tropes to create new meanings for an unstable time.
In 1994, Vaclav received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Mexico with a major in Painting and Drawing and a Ceramics minor. He relocated to Lafayette, Louisiana, in late 1999 to study 3-D Animation and Advertising Design at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Returning to Cedar Rapids in 2006 after the devastating hurricanes Katrina and Rita, he is currently employed as Lead Graphic Designer in the Marketing Services Department at Kirkwood Community College.