Back in 2014, Maya Hardin celebrated a decade of print making in Barga with an exhibition of her work celebrating her links with this city (article here)
Click on the link below to hear a fairly lengthy interview (in English) as she describes here working methods and reasons for returning to Barga to make her work in the Studio of Colour Etching run by Swietlan Kraczyna here in Barga Vecchia
A year earlier in 2013, Swietlan Kraczyna had a large exhibition in Barga celebrating 40 years of work in Barga 1973 – 2013 (article here)
This afternoon the pair of them opened a joint exhibition of their work based on Barga at the Galleria Comunale in Barga Vecchia.
Also present with two artists were the Mayor of Barga, Caterina Campani and the ex Mayor of Barga, Umberto Sereni.
Umberto made an impassioned speech asking for the original image of Barga by Swietlan Kraczyna to be printed on a large scale and positioned at the entrances to the city.
Swietlan Kraczyna was born on the Polish-Russian border March 1, 1940. At the outbreak of World War the family moved westward and at the end of the war in 1945 ended up in the refugee camps in Germany. After six years, in 1951, the family emigrated to the United States.
Swietlan received his BFA degree in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and in 1962 he spent a year in Italy doing independent studies in Rome and Florence on an EHP scholarship from RISD. In 1962-64 he went back to the United States to study for a MFA degree and received a teaching fellowship at the University of Southern Illinois. In the autumn of 1964 he returned to Italy and although he lives and works in Florence in the 13th century home of Michelangelo’s teacher, Domenico Ghirlandaio, he exhibits one-man shows annually in the United States.
In 1966 his interests turned completely to the graphic world and at this time he set up the etching department at Villa Schifanoia (Rosary College Graduate School of Fine Arts) in Florence, where he still continues to teach. In 1970 Kraczyna was one of ten artists to represent the United States in the Palazzo Strozzi Biennale di Grafica, and his multi-plate color etchings are represented in the Uffizi Gallery Prints and Drawings Collection. From 1973 until 1980 he worked as the technical assistant to Marino Marini on all his color etchings.
Kraczyna has been invited to different Universities and art schools in the United States, England, Italy, Mexico, and Columbia, and South America to give demonstrations of his own multi-plate color etching technique. He is one of the founders of the “Il Bisonte” International School of Advanced Printmaking in Florence where he teaches all the techniques of color etching, and is also the co-author of “I Segni Incisi”, the first Italian comprehensive textbook on the history and techniques of etching.