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The Great Creators

Enhancing Our Community’s Cultural Landscape One Creative Project at a Time

(page 3 of 8)

Small-Town Big Impressionism

Maciek Albrecht

Maciek Albrecht’s MaGiK Design Gallery in Easton is a world of wonders, brimming with quizzical, whimsical art. This spacious, inviting room is a treasure trove of wildly imaginative creations that keep the mind engaged long after the eyes have tired. This temporary loss of weary faculty is truly anticipation’s gain. All the better to go back for future visits in order to re-experience his playfully intelligent work. (Albrecht opts to be addressed as MaGiK).

Ideas effortlessly spark from MaGiK’s gray matter and assume many fascinating forms. A concept that begins as a sketch can morph into a three-dimensional character study before materializing in a brilliant animation film. His densely populated space is a testament to the indefatigable creativity that is a daily affair in MaGiK’s universe. One wonders where to begin with so many intriguing items calling out for attention.

I was immediately drawn to the life-affirming, post-apocalyptic world sculptures before gravitating to the wall covered with beautifully painted, recycled LPs. Suddenly, I was reaching for the unusual yoga poses and large angular cool cats articulated with wood and paint. Next, I picked up a piece from his conscious folk art series called “Pencilvania.” These are huge pencil sculptures upon which funky local landscapes are constructed. Exotic birds with spiky attitudes (made from recycled wood), a group of friendly vegetable characters called “Veggies,” and oodles of phantasmagorical framed art all made their way into my eager hands—leaving much terrain still left to be explored.

The city of Easton remains a beloved muse and he consistently infuses this ongoing series of posters and sculptures with wit and humor. When you visit, ask him about the delightful animation films he created that feature some of Easton’s citizenry in all their peculiar glory.

MaGiK’s enchanted career would make many a struggling artist envious. After finishing his studies in 1981 at the Fine Arts Academy in Krakow, Poland, he traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan to spend time with his brother. Three weeks later, martial law went into effect in his homeland and he was unable to return. Stranded in the States, he began drawing cartoons, hoping to secure some work. MaGiK sent them, unsolicited, to various publications in New York City. A month later he received a letter from Steve Heller at the New York Times Magazine. He said to contact him if he ever got to the city. A few months later, with very limited knowledge of the English language, MaGiK went to Manhattan. Heller immediately gave him an assignment that paid well. Given his phenomenal gifts as an artist, this led to additional work for most of the city’s publishers including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly and Business Week.

In 1988, a friend called and offered him a project (through the Boy Scouts of Easton) to create a large mural on Route 611 and Third Street. The small town made a big impression on MaGiK. He then traveled to Poland for two years to make a film. When he returned to the East Coast, his entire family decided to drive around the country in search of the perfect place to live. They traveled extensively and came through Easton on the way back to New York. The European feel of the town and proximity to the city made Easton the place to settle.

After moving to the Lehigh Valley, he opened MaGiK Studios and his exceptional animation work continued to blossom. He created the award-winning Classical Baby series for HBO (available on DVD). He has directed many animated films for Sesame Street, Scholastic and HBO specials. He has won four Emmy Awards for animated short films, the Annecy Award for best feature, the Peabody Award and many others.

Presently he and his wife, Creative Director Elli Albrecht, are open to working with locals on animation projects. They also have film and art events in their wonderful shop. It is a fun, stimulating place to visit and find unique art at reasonable prices. MaGiK is truly a local treasure.

Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | 34 Sebring St., Easton |  magikworld.com | magikdesigngallery.com

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