Being the daughter of two Holocaust survivors, Trudy Babchak has always been interested in exploring the conflicting emotions that accompany survival. Being an impressionistic painter, the challenge of rendering joy, relief, fear, and guilt all at once has been both daunting and irresistible–a chance to contrast the innocence of life with the rigid terror of something like the Nazi regime.
A recurrent theme in Trudy’s paintings has been girls dancing. The initial story behind this imagery was inspired by a photograph of girls in white dresses dancing on a mountaintop by a convent. These children were being hidden from Nazi persecution and playing joyfully. Aesthetically, her palette and imagery are meant to capture the innocence and even joy of life, not the specific experience of those who were trapped during the Holocaust. The outlines of clothing, gestures, and movements are meant to create a sense of general anonymity and lost identity. Trudy’s goal is to render a mood to the viewer. She uses bright colors and negative space to create images that dance, play, and hold hands through dreamscapes of warm orange, pastel pink, and other tones. There is no sense of a specific place or time, but every canvas is meant to impart a feeling of openness focusing on the figures.
Personally, painting has brought the shadows of Trudy’s family back to her. The paintings are about survival, but beyond that, transformation. She wants the viewer to see beyond the use of color and imagery to create his or her own stories, and not necessarily view Trudy’s historical inspiration as the best way to interpret her work.
Trudy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and completed the Post Baccalaureate Program at Maryland Institute, College of Art (MICA). In addition to having studied art, she also teaches oil painting at the Columbia Art Center in Columbia, Maryland.
Trudy has exhibited her artwork in solo and group shows at local and Baltimore galleries. She has received critical acclaim and been featured in news articles in The Columbia Flyer, Baltimore Sun and Jewish Times. Her works hang in homes and offices throughout the United Stated and she happily accepts commissions.