Saline District Library to Exhibit Paintings of Charles Novacek

Saline District Library to Exhibit Paintings of Charles Novacek

Kuwait 1, Watercolor by Charles Novacek
Kuwait 1, Watercolor by Charles Novacek

I’m excited! This is the first public exhibit of Charles’ work in 10 years.

DETROIT, MI –The Saline District Library is pleased to announce the exhibition of “Border Crossings Revisited,” a retrospective of paintings by the late Czechoslovakian- born American artist Charles Novacek. The work will be on display from September 29, 2013 – October 31, 2013 during regular library hours.

Novacek’s works range from portraiture to landscapes in pastel and acrylic with a few deeply expressive watercolors. Commenting on the show’s theme Novacek once said, ” I have been crossing borders my entire life, whether they be geographical. cultural, educational, physical, or interpersonal. I’ve always been challenged by the crossings as they inevitably bring conflict and the great reward of learning somethings new. Most of the paintings in this collection were produced after extensive travel to South America, the Caribbean, Central Asia, Uzbekistan, China, Russian, and Central Europe.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANovacek’s observational skills make for compelling portraits. Samarkand Child is a poignant and powerful portrait of a beggar he found crying on a street curb in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.  Through this portrait, Novacek the artist and the man speaks of his experience with the pain and beauty of life.

Novacek aspired to be a professional artist and musician in his native Czechoslovakia.  But in the late 1930s, the political situation in Europe began to change.  Art schools were closed and Novacek’s dream of attending art school was shattered. His entire family became involved in the resistance movement against the Nazis and at the age of 15 Novacek’s father enrolled him in an engineering college to avoid being drafted into Hitler’s emergency relief organization.

After World War II ended, the Russian Communists invaded Novacek’s homeland. Involved with dangerous work in the resistance movement against the Communists, Novacek was forced to flee to the United States Zone in Bavaria, becoming a refugee.

In 1956 Novacek was able to immigrate with his family to the U.S. where he settled in Detroit and pursued his career as a registered professional engineer. After retirement in 1985, Novacek returned to painting and stone carving. He fulfilled a lifelong dream when he earned his Master of Arts degree in painting from Eastern Michigan University in 1993.

9780985415105-JacketGray_novacek.inddBefore his death in 2007, Novacek wrote a memoir, Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance ( about his life experiences. It was published by 1021 Press in October 2012 and endorsed by Madeleine Albright. Novacek’s widow Sandra Novacek presented a program on the book at the Saline District Library in April 2013. She is also coordinating the “Border Crossings Revisited” exhibit. Novacek accompanied her husband on many of the trips where he met and observed the subjects of his paintings. “There is a fascinating story behind each one of them,” she said.

Information, 734.429.5450 or visit   The Saline District Library is located at 555 N Maple Road, Saline, MI 48176. Are you going?

2 Replies to “Saline District Library to Exhibit Paintings of Charles Novacek”

  1. Great, Joann! I hope you do get a chance to see the show and the beautiful Saline District Library, too! Please give me feedback on the show.

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