Distinctly Dunkirk

Tim Pauszek, a graduate of Dunkirk High School class of 2010, is an artist with a creative outlook rooted in his experiences in Dunkirk. Lake Erie and the outdoors were a big part of his life as were members of his family, including his dad, his uncle “Eug” and his grandfathers.

Reflecting a family life that included fishing, experience with local clubs and “cock and bull” stories, his handcarved wood block and screen prints display not only artistic talent but also some subtle humor.

“There were lots of stories with the family,” he said, “And I guess you could say the stories were exaggerated.”

For example, one of his prints, “The Day I Almost Drained Lake Erie” relates to a day in his childhood when he caught his fishing line on something and couldn’t pull it loose. He was told by family he probably hooked the stopper to Lake Erie. If he pulled too hard the lake might drain and he would get into trouble.

Another print “Grandpa Bob Loses at Sevens” a print of a glass of beer with raw eggs in it relates to a drinking game at one of the local clubs. As with most of his block prints, there is a decorative border. On this one, it is fun to recognize the symbols of four of Dunkirk’s clubs.

The one serious print in the series is a tribute to his mom, who died when he was 13. Called “Do Not Be Afraid,” it depicts her hand holding an ice cream cone in a car. Pauszek carved sunflowers for the border.

“My mother loved sunflowers,” he said.

Pauszek’s eight handcarved wood blocks, prints from the woodblocks and screen prints were recently part of an exhibit “The Basement Show” at Alfred University where he is a student set to graduate in December with a B.A. Pauszek has a double major, interdisciplinary art and chemistry.

He traces his interest in art to high school where he was taught by David Budniewski (now retired) and Jodie Korzenski. It was in high school that he learned about M.C. (Mauritis Cornelius) Escher, a Dutch graphic artist who was a printmaker. The artist’s work and technique appealed to him.

Pauszek made his first prints in high school but said, “My first prints weren’t that good.”

He took a print class at Alfred. He created etchings which use metal plates and chemicals.

“When I came home that summer, I didn’t have the materials and they were expensive. I decided to make woodcuts,” Pauszek said. His first took the longest.

At the recent exhibit, he sold some of his prints. As is usual for woodcuts or etchings, a limited number of prints were created from each screen or woodblock.

Pauszek made a total of 800 prints, 50 from each woodcut and screen. On each print a number that is written as a fraction appears. The top number represents the sequence of the print. The bottom is the total number of prints. Thus 32/50 means the 32nd print out of a total of 50 made. He is charging $10 a print for the screen prints which are smaller, and $20 for the larger block prints.

He has created a website, bluepikepress.com, where the public can view his work and contact him. Even the website’s name reflects his knowledge of the outdoors. Blue pike was once plentiful in Lake Erie, but is now extinct.

Pauszek will leave Dunkirk on May 31. He will intern on the printmaking product line at Gamblin Artist Colors in Portland, Ore for the summer..

Eventually Pauszek would like to own a printmaking business.

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