John Wiercioch - Weaving Memories of Peru

Alexander/Heath Contemporary
“Rivers, Mountains and Magic: Embracing the Mystery”
an exhibition of painter
John Wiercioch
April 3 through April 24, 2020


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are following the safety precautions set forth by the government. We plan to revisit  exhibitions, when the public is safe from infection.

Opening Reception: Art-by-Night Friday,
April 3rd, 6 to 10 pm

Refreshments / Music / Parking Map
Gallery located at 425 Campbell Ave SW and 5th Street
(Enter on 5th Street between Campbell Ave SW and Rorer Street)

Cell: Edward Hettig, 607.226.2473
Contact via Email:

Artist’s Statement

Being in nature has long centered and inspired me. Immersing my self in the “more than human world” renews my soul. I see my art making as an extension of this. I’ve made an intentional effort to follow my intuition more this last couple of years. For several years I’ve been moving toward painting in this way—spontaneous and unplanned, trusting the process yet seeking to create harmony. I develop a dialogue with each work which then guides me. I wanted to integrate my approach to painting with my way of living. Listening to one’s heart, “winging it” a bit, always has trade-offs. It takes a certain courage and rigor to do this responsibly, and unexpected challenges are part of the deal. But there are also immense joys. I’m committed to embracing this mysterious, rich and fulfilling path.

I’ve been attracted to rivers and streams all of my life. I live in Wasena neighborhood, near a greenway bordering the Roanoke River, and have long enjoyed walking and biking beside it. I’d kayaked this stretch a few times, but at the end of last summer, I first floated it on an inner tube. Instantly I knew it suited me in a profound way—it was engaging, healing, and restorative. It took me back to my youth and gently focused me on the present. I did a float for 50 consecutive days—mostly evenings after work, but sometimes at dawn, even a night float. The intimacy and fuller connection from being literally at water level, letting myself go while being quietly swept along (I rarely paddled) allowed a communion with the waterway and everything interwoven with it. Although directly in the heart of the city, other than the bridges overhead, “civilization” and humans were a rare sight. The regularity of my excursions created a wonderful bonding with a handful of pairs of birds who foraged along the same section and slowly befriended me.

Spurred by personal circumstances, and a sense life is short, I also took a leap across the pond for the first time, and visited the Emerald Isle, Ireland focusing on the mythic landscape. The next month I followed my gut by continuing my adventures on another excursion, a yoga retreat in the majestic Andes mountains of Peru. Both trips were filled with extraordinary experiences. All of these, the rivers, the majestic mountains, the travels and the people, all offered magical moments. I feel my open-heartedness allowed synchronicity to flow (perhaps I just recognized it). I continue to embrace this energy and these sensations which transcend thinking. I feel my role as an artist is to be a vehicle; my purpose is to absorb, coalesce and make felt experiences concrete, in order to share the beauty I encounter. I strive to make art that engages the spirit and has an enduring presence.

~ John Wiercioch, March 2020

Above: Weaving Memories of Peru
36” x 44” Mixed media/panel


John was born in Detroit, MI in 1961 and grew up in northern IN, receiving a BA in Fine Arts from Indiana University @ South Bend. He moved to Virginia in 1988, earning an MFA from Radford University. He worked for 15 years in art museums, ending his tenure at the Art Museum of Western VA (now the Taubman Museum of Art) as Director of Education. Since 2000 he has been sole proprietor of Roanoke Masterworks, a painting and custom wall finishes company. He has lived in Roanoke since 1993, and has one son, Anselm. Besides making art and sharing it, he enjoys floating in the river, biking, hiking, gardening, films, music, and learning. He supports social justice, local and global sustainable ventures, and things that create community.

More about John Wiercioch: Website /  Facebook