Mona Kolesar

( - )

Archived in 2022

Photograph of a woman in a red jacket, short blonde hair, standing by sculpture with black and white photography in the background.


Mona Kolesar welcomes the “oops” in her art. She works primarily with immutable materials: wood, steel, cultured marble. Her sculptures exude the confidence of Constructivism (without the ideology) while she acknowledges the happy accidents that propel her creative process; she investigates the possibilities of the media. In her large-scale wall-art, Kolesar makes the curvilinear dimensional, often reliant on what she refers to as a “library of color.” Her free-standing sculptures are also commanding in scale, never dominating, always accommodating with fluidity to the surrounding space. Like an alchemist, she transforms the base into the precious.


Born in a small town in Pennsylvania, Mona Kolesar completed her undergraduate degree in Art Education at Penn State University and went on to earn a MA in Studio Art at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art, making Cleveland her home. She credits her dexterity with tools and machinery to time spent in her first job after graduate school, teaching art to American military personnel in Germany and running the base’s craft shop and photo studio from 1962-64. As an established artist back in Cleveland in 1965, armed with power tools and a penchant for junk yards, Kolesar continued to work as an educator and to garner approbation for assertively sizable wall-hanging and free-standing sculpture.


Featured in numerous regional exhibitions since the late 1970’s and most recently, in 2021, at the Denise Bilbro Gallery in New York City, Kolesar consistently creates works for public spaces, fulfilling commissions from corporate headquarters, medical centers, universities, and libraries. Always relishing the process, Kolesar collaborates with her patrons, sharing her preliminary models, soliciting input in scale and color. The results have allowed her to extend her public pieces beyond Northern Ohio to Boston, Newark, Pittsburgh, and Tampa. Widely acclaimed public visibility, impressive scale, and industrial materials do not dampen the dynamic delicacy of Kolesar’s sculpture which can be intimately expressive. As she reflects, “I view my art as a visual statement spotlighting my internal journeys, explorations, and dreams.”