Tallahassee Artist Georjean Machulis Has First Solo Show
Longtime Tallahassee artist Georjean Machulis is hosting a one-night-only, pop-up exhibition of her work Friday. Although it's her first solo show, she's been making art all her life – and says it's helped her recover from some grievous losses.
"Even to put myself and my art out, it must take some courage." Machulis said, looking around her studio at paintings ready for the show. "I've found that those things that maybe are most painful and difficult for me give me the most grace and healing."
Machulis has now faced the deaths of two of her three children – she calls it "crossing over" – in that spirit. After Jessie, her daughter with former Leon County Commissioner Cliff Thaell, died in an accident at age 17, Machulis built her a memorial of river stones. And Jessie appeared in every dream she had.
"I remember wishing I had told her how much I loved her," Machulis said. 'Now, I'm sure I did (laughs) and I'm sure she knew, but I started feeling some guilt and uneasiness about that. And that night in the dream, she came very full and very beautiful, and I said, 'Jessie, I just want to tell you how very much I love you.' The healing happened for me in that dream."
Now Machulis is putting on a multi-media show called "Images From the Dream World: Angels & Women With Wings." The images show how she's faced her losses.
"It's obviously not more than my share, because it is what has been dealt to me," she said. "I have had occasions where I've fallen to the earth; I thought, 'I will never get up. I will never rise from this dirt.' And all of a sudden maybe something would interest me, some little spark, and my eye would go towards that – I call it grace. I would get lifted out of that."
Now, on the eve of her show, Machulis is ready to kick up her heels. Along with her paintings and collages, the show includes a video about her dreams and music by Jazz Etctera and a community women's singing group called the Songbirds.
"I want to put my work out there and let people see it. I've kept it pretty close to home. I'd like to give my friends an opportunity to see it, and I'd like to dress in black and be an artist," she said, laughing. "I want to be an artist for an evening and surround myself with people who I love and my art and talk about it and have an occasion."
She said she doesn't think she has a message, exactly, but if there is one, it's that life has many dimensions.
"There's certainly more to life than meets the eye," she said. "I don't know if I represent that at all through my art, but through the dreams, I think, there's more to it. And life is so abundant – there's so many layers and depths – I haven't scratched the surface of it."