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Holladay Journal

Holladay Artist Bianca Kolonusz-Partee creates landscape scenes of the world’s oldest and most beautiful shipping ports

Mar 01, 2024 12:24PM ● By Collette Hayes

The process of creating a shipping port landscape scene is labor intensive, taking several months to complete. (Photo credit Bianca Kolonusz-Partee)

The industrial abstract art of Bianca Kolonusz-Partee invites the observer to step into a horizon landscape scene of the world's oldest and most beautiful shipping ports. Directly created on the wall of a room, her art gives a glimpse of the seaports that foster economic development and cultural exchange, secure diplomatic ties, and depict the strength of the natural landscape. 

“My pieces always end up showing the landscape stronger,” Kolonusz-Partee said. “I visited the port of Colombo, Sri Lanka, an area of the spice trade. The cranes were transporting the cargo from shore to ship, but it was nothing compared to what was happening in nature. Visiting the island of Sri Lanka was a transformative experience for me. Getting goods made cheaply in Sri Lanka ignores the rich culture, fresh spices and mind-blowing landscape.”

Selected as Holladay Artist of the Month by the Holladay Arts Council, Kolonusz-Partee captures an art form crafted from product packaging in paper cutting and layering. On the floor of her studio, crates are filled with decorative papers, torn photo pieces, and heavy paper stock. Once used as cookie and cereal boxes, specialty chocolate wrappers, and even the occasional shampoo bottle packaging are disassembled and filed by color and wait to be artistically repurposed.

“My friends and family send me a lot of the papers that I use in my landscapes,” Kolonusz-Partee said. “Many of my friends are package designers and, in the past, have created patterned papers. Design trends have now changed, and most boxes now are solid colors. If someone gives me a card, occasionally, I will incorporate it into my art.”

Kolonusz-Partee received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Studio Art from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, an academic institution renowned for educating women leaders. After receiving a Claremont Graduate University Art Fellowship, she returned home to California to complete a Master of Fine Arts in painting. By this time, shipping ports had become the topic of focus for her art. While completing her degree, she participated in several artist talks and art shows at various colleges and art galleries in the Los Angeles area. Kolonusz-Partee continues to show her art after relocating to Utah.  

“We moved our family from California to Utah in 2020,” Kolonusz-Partee said. “We happened to luck out and moved to Holladay. I had a solo show at the Bountiful Art Center in May 2023. I’m so passionate about landscape, and that’s what I love about being in Utah, getting out in the landscape and connecting with it.”

As Vice President of Design at HB Workplaces, Kolonusz-Partee runs a design team of 40 interior designers. One of the team's current design projects is designing the interior social spaces for the 40-story Astra Tower in downtown Salt Lake, which houses an apartment complex and business offices.

The process of creating a shipping port landscape scene is labor intensive, taking several months to complete. Usually, Kolonusz-Partee works from a photo or a video on her laptop. The shape of the landscape is sketched on a horizon line, then colored bits of paper are cut to shape and placed with double stick tape using a wall as a canvas. Map pins are used to anchor the pieces in place. Since an eraser is not an option for making corrections in this art form, old cardboard box pieces, and papers are cut, trimmed, and repositioned several times before being secured into place. 

Although Kolonusz-Partee’s art form is somewhat unique, she admires many artists' works, but it is the old art masters she looks to for artistic inspiration.

“Liberty Blake has a show at Phillips Gallery right now, and I love her art,” Kolonusz-Partee said. “Her art is more modern and is pretty much the polar opposite of mine, but I enjoy her flat, old, beautiful papers. But I feel like I come from the old art masters. I love going to see and experiencing their art.”

If you would like more information about Bianca Kolonusz-Partee’s artwork, visit λ