More than most creatives of his age or era, Nick Wroblewski preserves an intimate relationship with his work. Throughout the artistic process Nick is inspired—and restricted—by our natural world. Opting to draw by hand the original drafts of his masterful woodcut prints, Nick maintains a physical connection to his work and the natural Midwest landscapes he features. Speaking with Nick about his work, it is apparent that the patient and romantic scenes he constructs are an expressive extension of the man himself.
Having grown up in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of South Minneapolis, Nick credits at least some of his artistic success to the strong community of artists that surrounded him from an early age. Attending high school at the Perpich Center for Arts Education was Nick’s first introduction to printmaking, and he was immediately intrigued by the hands-on nature of the medium.
Later, studying visual arts at Bennington College in Vermont, Nick focused on painting and sculpture, realizing that woodcut printmaking was essentially a marriage of those two mediums. “I loved how tactile it was, this sculptural medium you’re creating imagery from,” says Nick. “I just kind of liked how […] woodcut printmaking combined the two mediums, and I liked the fact that it was kind of this nice recipe of elemental ingredients. It was just wood, ink, paper, carving tools. In terms of printmaking it wasn’t that intensive chemically, and it was fairly immediate.”
In the early aughts, having tested the waters as a part-time professional artist, Nick joined the Highpoint Printmaking Cooperative in Minneapolis, a still-in-operation non-profit that provides education and resources to aspiring printmakers, and decided to turn his talents in the woodcut world into a full-time job.
Now widely respected as an artist, Nick still seems grounded by humble Midwest landscapes, the versatility of natural elements, and an intentional and balanced life with his family. But he has lost no passion for the work. “I’m still fascinated by it. I haven’t gotten bored with it at all.”
Nick Wroblewski’s “Sand in Accordance to Water” was featured on the cover of The Growler’s June 2016 issue as shown below.