Mixed Media

Beauty Big and Small

An artist’s work takes her around the world—and back home again

Droze pictured with her 2012 mural, “Morphos,” in Indianapolis, Ind.

By Michael Flatt and Rachael Katz

Augustina Droze (MFA ’15) is capable of both stunning precision and tremendous scale. The former is prevalent in her paintings of geometrically arranged aquatic and avian creatures, which achieve an almost photographic realism, while the latter plays out in her murals, which stretch across walls sometimes hundreds of feet wide and often focus on themes of social justice.

This attention to the particular and the grand seems an apt metaphor for Droze’s career. Her talent has taken her around the country and across the globe, from Nagpur, India, to Cali, Colombia, even as she has made her home in Buffalo’s cozy art scene.

A mural commissioned by the Olmsted Parks Conservancy originally brought her to Buffalo from Los Angeles; the local art community inspired her to stay. “I felt so welcome,” Droze says of her arrival in 2011. “Being an artist is integral to my life in Buffalo.”

Since enrolling in UB’s MFA program in 2012, Droze has exhibited her paintings in area galleries and kept up her work as a muralist. This past summer, she co-created a five-story, Pop Art-style mural in downtown Buffalo before jetting off to Cali to paint one of her socially conscious murals—that one, she says, “honoring the strength of women and ethnic diversity.”

Arrangement with Pigs. Oil on canvas, 2014.

Goldfish in Drop. Oil on canvas, 2014

Colors of Culture. Steel and latex on cement, 2011. Located in Nagpur, India. Painted on an outer wall of a government complex.