EVA-KULISZEWSKI-oil-portrait-by-artist-Elizabeth-Reed-FACeADE-Project-A portrait of diversity

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Eva Kuliszewski

I painted Eva and talked with her mom on April 23, 2019 for 3 hours.
She returned on May 6, 2019 for 3 hours.

ER: What is your Name? What is your nickname? Do you have a childhood nickname?
EK: My name is Evangeline Rose Kuliszewski. My nickname is Eva. When I was little, my family called me Geli, which comes from the middle of my name (evanGELIne). My friend Maggie, who is younger than me, used to call me EvangeLION. My mother named me after the girl in Longfellow’s poem Evangeline and she read it to me right after I was born.

ER: How old are you?
EK: I am 12 and will be 13 on May 3rd.

ER: What is your favorite saying or quote?
EK: One of my favorite quotes is from Pirates of the Caribbean, when Captain Jack Sparrow says “Me? I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It’s the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they’re going to do something incredibly… stupid.”

ER: Where were you born? Where did you grow up? Where do you call home?
EK: I was born in St. Anthony’s Hospital in Warwick, NY. So far, I have been growing up in NY and FL. In NY, I lived on a farm and in the hamlet of Wallkill, which makes me think of the Shire from Lord of the Rings if I’m in the right place. In FL, I’ve lived in Boca Raton and Pompano Beach, which is where I live now. I consider my home to be Broward County, FL.

ER: Where are your parents/grandparents from? How did they influence you today? (big question)
EK: My great-grandmother’s name was Louisa. She was born in England in 1898. She came to America with her husband, John Cooper, around 1920. My grandmother, Mary, was born in 1929. My other great-grandmother, Marie, was born in Brooklyn to Italian immigrants. Her husband, Caesar Ciocco disappeared when my grandfather, Tony, was nine years old. He was found later by my great-aunt Kathy… All of my grandparents/great-grandparents on my mother’s side lived in NYC. My mom’s parents are both now living on Long Island.
As for my father’s side, they all grew up in PA and had been living there for many, many years. My great-grandmother was a part of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Except for my dad’s mother, Ellen, they all died before I was born.
My grandmother, Mary, is artistic, musical, humble, generous, compassionate, and wise. Because we lived with her for a while, I was inspired by her. I don’t know my grandfather, Tony, as well. In fact, I only just met him a few years ago.

ER: What is your heritage (ethnicity)?
EK: My ancestors come from Italy, Poland, England… mutt.

ER: Why do you live here? How did you get here?
EK: I live in Florida because I came here with my mother. We drove here in a U-Haul. It took us three days because we stopped to rest and eat. I was 8 years old.

ER: Do you speak another language?
EK: I am learning to speak Latin and French. And then I want to learn Greek, Romanian, and Chinese. I’m just curious about Romanian. And Greek and Chinese are fascinating languages.

ER: What is your favorite color?
EK: Right now, my favorite color is the range between indigo to pinky-purple (magenta?). I also like pink and baby blue.

ER: Do you have a pet(s)?
EK: No pets, but I would love to have a kitty cat. Unfortunately, my mother will never agree to such a thing…

ER: Tell us about your family.
EK: I am too young to have children, but I have five siblings. Ezra, the eldest, is currently working as a dispatcher and is into airplanes. Esther, the second eldest, is training to be an optician on Long Island and she likes yoga. Joshua is studying math at college and is into football. Faith is 20 years old, studying French and Music at college, and writes amazingly awesome retellings of fairy tales. Darla Renee died before I was born.
I also have two adorable nephews and one adorable niece. Josiah Ryan (we call him Joey and he is 6 years old), Sara Quinn (4 years old), and Oliver Ezra (3 years old). They are Ezra’s children. I also have two other nieces. They are both around my age because they were born before my brother married their mom, Erica, who is a lot older than Ezra.

ER: What is your passion? What are you doing when you are most happy?
EK: My passion is singing. I sing with the Girl Choir of South Florida, where I have made many friends. I have a solo in the next concert, so on May 10th at 7:30 PM at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, I hope lots of people can come to see the concert.

ER: Do you have a mission? A reason for doing that which is your passion?
EK: I want to be able to make other people happy, and I want other people to experience that moment where the music they hear moves the unseen things inside of them.

ER: What is / was your profession? Is this profession what you were meant to do? Why?
EK: Currently, I am a student. I am educated at home by a parent, aka Mom, and I also go to Classical Conversations, which is a Christian Community of Classical learners. I love learning science things, like anatomy, life science, and chemistry.

ER: What are you really good at doing? Why?
EK: I’m good at cooking because I practice it and I love it. I’m also good at singing because I’ve been doing it since before I could talk (like Sophie, in Mamma Mia!)

ER: What do you do that might change the world? Why?
EK: I don’t order a lot of take-out food. It might decrease plastic and cardboard use, which is good because it could decrease pollution and messiness.

ER: What makes you feel like part of a community? Why?
EK: Talking to people makes me feel like I’m part of a community. Because I’m conversing with them, I’m getting to know them. We have good times together. When people are there for others, it feels like a real community. An example is my best friend’s mom, who has breast cancer. All the people in our CC group have brought her food, taken care of her children, and encouraged her. Today (4/22/2019) is her last radiation treatment. We all cheered at the park for her today. Doing fun things together also makes me feel like we have a good community. (pool parties and park dates, for example!)

ER: What is the most interesting thing you have ever done?
EK: The most interesting thing I have ever done is go on the Rockin’ Rollercoaster at Disney Hollywood Studios. I went with my friends from Girl Choir two years ago, when I was in the Apprentice Choir. It went super-fast, and I liked it because it went upside down and all around. The colors were pretty: neons and dark. Aerosmith music was playing, and the roller coaster cars were set up to look like a limousine. It was so much fun that I went on it twice.

ER: What is your greatest accomplishment?
EK: My greatest accomplishment so far is getting the solo in my choreography piece at Girl Choir. (“This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman)

ER: What are your regrets?
EK: I regret not trying out for the descant solo in Come, Let’s Be Merry, which was last year, spring semester.

ER: What are your struggles?
EK: I struggle in math because I have trouble remembering the math facts! I am great at concepts, but when it comes to facts, I’m horrible.

ER: What are your greatest adventures?
EK: My greatest adventure is walking in Fern Forest because you never know when it will change, and you always find new things there.


Practicing for Nyeopi in Bali

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art urges voyages,

and it is easier to stay home."

Gwendolyn Brooks



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