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Cristina Tanaskovich Art Blog

The Family

by cristinatanaskovich , February 14, 2017—12:00 AM

Topics: Bucharest, Cristina Tanaskovich, Family, Gregory Fesko, Joanna Tanaskovich-Linn, Piatra-Neamt landscape, Romania

I am so fortunate to have two members of my family involved with the arts, my father Gregory Fesko who lives in Youngstown, Ohio and daugther Joanna Tanaskovich-Linn who just moved to Cincinatti, Ohio. We have a great sense of appreciation for the arts, because we are artists, yet each of us has a unique style! When we get together we talk about art projects and future! Gregory Fesko was born in Romania, a beautiful country with great natural wonders, yet he belongs to a decade of many hardships the Communist period. He decided to emigrate to US with family, which at that time in early 80's Romania was under a dictatorship. There were restrictive rules, little food on the market, and limited living conditions. My father worked for 30 years in a bread and cookies factory where he produced a lot of packaging designs for many products. He also had painted massive propaganda billboards. They were huge red billboards with white lettering, used for public demonstrations that were held often in downtown Bucharest, promoting how great Ceausescu and Communist Party was. I remember helping my father paint these billboards! This experience will stay with me forever. I also painted for myself, and my style is completely different from my fathers, because for me it was an escape from reality which was a struggle everyday for all. My father kept drawing a lot of landscapes, mostly black ink with wooden matches. It's amazing to see him at work! One day my father told family that he decided to emigrate, it was like another battle because the goverment had to have a reason why he wanted to emigrate. we had no family in US, for him it was simply because he could not be included in exhibitions that artists participated at that time, why because he refused to be a communist member, it backlashed. Later on the government allowed us to emigrate only if we would give up Romanian citizenship so that is what he did, the day we got a brown passport for people without a citizenship it was so interesting, yet very eliberating the next years were very difficult because all of the family had to endure no income and my sister Carina and I were kicked out of highschool, because that was a government property we had to give up the manuals and also teachers were instructed to encourage us to give up school! All of us had to survive on some income and that kept us afloat, my father sold paintings my mother knitted sweathers and me and my sister worked on the edge of town picking tomatoes, until the Big day arrived! When we left Bucharest a lot of our friends were so happy for us, and we were too yet we had to say Good bye to everyone and the place we grew up! We had arrived in Youngstown, Ohio 1985. Happy at last but starting a new life! Language for my parents was difficult to learn, working odd jobs, and still not giving up drawing this is what my father persisted with, setting an example for me as well as my daugther, I admire and respect that in my father who still is drawing presently and trying to have exhibitions, but the story behind our family means so much more it has transformed and molded us who we are as artists today, we all have a different style yet we connect as a family and experiences we had in the past. I would love to organize an exhibition that features my father daugther and me under one roof, this will be amazing, because the art gives a message and tells a story in each of us! I am so grateful for my family! Also faith conserved us regardless of how hard life got!



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