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Paper Talks: The Life of Miroslawa Pissarenko

January 21 - April 4

Paper Talks: The Life of Miroslawa Pissarenko

Artist, Horticulturist, Teacher and Friend

Miroslawa Grabowski Pissarenko (1909-2006) believed that paper talked. She told this to her good friend Peter Michael Martin as she created “wycniaki” (Polish Paper Cuttings) in her own intricate style, using only a pair of cuticle scissors.

On Cape Cod she is remembered for her paper cut-decorated eggs, which she demonstrated and taught to children in the schools and libraries. But that was just one example of her artistic touch. Her collection of paper cuts and charming woodcarvings are now on view at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, thanks to her friend Peter Michael Martin who has curated the exhibition “Paper Talks” with the assistance of his daughter Abby, co-curator. Martin has transformed the PSD Gallery into a loose replication of Miroslawa’s home - complete with a ceiling border of hanging spoons and the etched gourds that Miroslawa used to document her travels. “Everything Miroslawa did had an artistic touch - her home, her lovely gardens… just having tea with her was a creative experience,” says Martin. With Paper Talks, he hopes to give the public insight to the mystique of this amazing woman, by the mere look at any of her priceless pieces.

Born in an Aristocratic Family in Kovel (Pologne) in 1909, Miroslawa remembered riding in horse drawn carriages, her father off on hunting trips and her mother traveling to France to choose a new Governess. Miroslawa experienced the Russian Revolution first hand, traveling by foot at night to the Polish Border. As a young woman Miroslawa moved to Paris to study Horticulture and remained some forty years, including those during the Nazi occupation. She eventually moved to America in 1968 to seek medical help for her son Jean Pierre, and made Cape Cod her home for well over thirty years.

Read about Paper Talks in this recent article from the Cape Cod Times

Watch this Cape Media Center interview with Peter Michael Martin, Curator Paper Talks


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