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Bork selected for Rothko painting symposium

Associate Professor of Art Dustyn Bork was one of 10 global artists selected for the 15th Painting Symposium and Residency at the Mark Rothko Art Center in Daugavpils, Latvia.

Held in the birthplace of modern artist Mark Rothko, the symposium invited artists to live and work in the fortress of Daugavpils, tasking them with creating work inspired by Rothko and the local environment. The participants gave talks about their process, work, and influence on Sept. 25 to mark the 115th anniversary of Rothko’s birth.

An exhibition curated from the works created by the 10 artists opened in the Mark Rothko Art Center on Oct. 4 and will remain up through November. 

“This was a huge honor and the highlight of my art career,” Bork said. “I was flattered to be selected and shocked to be included among such great international artists.”

Bork noted that Rothko was among his idols, whose legacy and impact on modern art and painting was staggering. Bork’s artwork will become part of the permanent collection of the Mark Rothko Art Center.

Bork worked on three unique series during the residency: a large suite of paintings titled “fasādes,” the Latvian word for facades; 20 small paintings titled “eka,” the Latvian word for building; and a series of small collages made from the cast-off process of layering and using stencils in his work.

“The whole area was great for visual inspiration, with many buildings in various levels of decay and renovation,” he said. “I was inspired by Rothko’s immersive color fields, simplified geometry, and the colors and architecture of Daugavpils.”

Bork hopes to share this experience with Lyon students in the future.

“Stay tuned for a possible Nichols trip to the Baltic states,” he said, laughing. “The sites, music, art, architecture, and people in Latvia are truly amazing. It is a beautiful, cultural, and unique place to explore!”