Born and raised in the Swan River Valley, Marek-Matejka developed her interest in the arts from a young age influenced by her family's deep appreciation of music and art. Recalling her childhood home, she describes a rich musical environment, cherished pieces of family artwork on display, and her brother and father painting at their easels in the diningroom. Intrigued by the odd smell of paint and linseed oil, she would curiously watch and work alongside them at the dining room table. Her father, an art instructor at the time, gave her her first formal oil painting lesson at the tender age of seven, a treasured piece of artwork that she remembers composing on the floor of the hallway. Submersed in this family tradition, a naturally shy and sensitive child began her journey as an artist.
Growing up in a small agricultural community and exposed at an early age to unusually difficult circumstances, Marek- Matejka also recalls a dark and often lonely childhood struggling to make sense of a seemingly harsh and indifferent world and her place in it. Naturally, art and music became a silent and most powerful vehicle through which to express her feelings and experiences. An examination of her earlier work hints at this part of her life that she now speaks about candidly. With time and healing her work evolved from a darkly conceptual literary statement on life to a more lighthearted and nostalgic one.
In 1986, while still in grade school, Marek-Matejka's haunting portrait depicting the 1984 Ethiopian Famine, received first place honors at Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition, fueling her desire to pursue a professional career in the Visual Arts. Subsequently, while studying at the University of Manitoba, her portrait was again selected for a country-wide traveling exhibition of Canadian community art. Marek-Matejka graduated from Saskatchewan University with a B.A. in Fine Arts and Music in 1991. Thereafter, she began raising her family, participated in group exhibitions and continued work on a series of post-modern paintings titled, Absence of Birth. In 1993 she and her young family settled in the Swan River Valley where she participated in her first major solo exhibition and now continues to paint, exhibit and share her love and knowledge of visual art and music with her community.
Marek-Matejka's most recent solo exhibitions include: L. Watson Arts Center, Dauphin and McCreary, MB; Wasagaming Art Gallery, Wasagaming, MB. Major and ongoing group exhibitions include: The Northern and Rural Art Show, Dauphin, MB, The Manitoba Arts Network, Winnipeg Legislature, the exclusive OneofaKind Show and Sale, Toronto, ON, The Manitoba Art Expo, Winnipeg, MB, The Royal Conservatory Show, Winnipeg, MB, and The Manitoba Society of Artists Annual Juried Exhibition where she picked up two awards, once in 2008 for her work Stronghold, and again in 2009 for her work Born Sleeping. Professional affiliations include: CARFAC MANITOBA; The Assiniboia Group of Artists Inc.; Artist's In Canada; Uniquely Manitoba; The Manitoba Society of Artists.
Marek-Matejka's personal style has developed out of her exploration with a wide variety of media in various combinations on unconventional surfaces. The resulting outcome is a rich textural quality on an original surface that provides interesting and unpredictable challenges. Some of her florals have been likened to collage. Generally, when choosing her subject matter, Marek-Matejka tries to get away from the more stereotypical representation of an image. She likes to reveal any vulnerability that may otherwise be overlooked or unappreciated by a casual observation. Her images are not merely ethereal representations of the life we all dream of. Rather, they challenge the very core of who we are amidst an often callous and impersonal backdrop of nature.
Marek-Matejka's colorful journey as mixed media artist is interwoven into her equally strong love and passion for music. When she is not painting or instructing, she is writing and performing as lead singer and songwriter for her gothically- inspired folk-Canadiana band, black-eyed SUZIE. www.reverbnation.com/blackeyedsuzie