Mira Nitza Waksman

Neighborhood: Bayview
Group Affiliation: Yosemite Place

Growing up, I was deeply influenced by Uzbek textiles, which now influences me as an abstract painter. Along with Uzbek textiles, I was immersed in my cultural heritage through the arts and crafts, which nurtured the essence of who I am now. And it is through painting that I can journey into my past, retrieving the richness of those experiences, giving it a voice with color, shapes, and texture.
I grew up with very creative parents who came from Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. Our home was one big ‘atelier’ where my parents, siblings, and extended family members expressed themselves through the arts. The joy they created was expressed in sights, smells, tastes, and sounds of music, weavings, food, and writing.
For me painting incorporating colors, shapes, and ‘mark-making’ and mixed materials are the languages I use to create and tell stories. It’s a language connecting me from the past to now - the moment.

I need to dive into ‘fish’ this wisdom out or give it space, so it’ll shine. It is the most exhilarating and rewarding privileged process. I feel blessed and connected to the source in the most meaningful way. In this process, I feel the wisdom hold the steering wheel, and the mind follows.

Painting is thrilling and intense. My process is direct and simple but complex. I dig into the language of my ancestors, connecting emotions and wisdom into what you see. The stories are in each one, some boldly shouting their message, others shy and reserved—each one unique and honest.