The Man

Non Basta Una Vita.JPG

“I have a sign hanging in my studio which says, Non Basta Una Vita, which means, One Life is Not Enough. And it isn’t enough for all the things I want to say and do, work generates work. I will continue working and finding out.

The things of the visual world are not made by material or technique alone, The human element must be present. One hand, one brain (the human expression and the ability to reason) combine with the material and process to form the born object.

Tuska 1931-1998

However, when an artist shows some of the results of his discoveries, he is asking for a reaction not based on a viewer’s past experience. Each object exists for its own reason without reference to a historical connection. We bear the entire world of man’s history on our shoulders, and this helps make it difficult to view objects in terms of our own time and century.

Each individual working, studies and learns to become automatic with his techniques. What is done with these skills are important. The material the artist chooses are his tools. His process techniques are his method. Both of these combine to make his vision and imagination. Trying to go beyond what is realistic, abstract or perhaps expected, and create a new dimension that confronts the producer and viewer into a “sense” reaction.

I have had many media changes in my life, since I do not feel one media answers all of the visual questions that concern me. I have always generated the premise of “what if”. There are always questions, and the possible answers are what I produce. No one media satisfies the diversity of my thinking. And so, I extend my experience and skills into “unknowns”. Thereby satisfying the curious question, “what if”.

You reach for stars, moons, and planets, which you may never see or never reach, but OK! What an experience to ride one’s life through! The doors that open, the visions that evolve, are not final, but layers that open into future possibilities. Life’s variety has no conclusion, it keeps unraveling, we reach the center: the sight of what is and what might be!

I close my eyes… click my red sneakers together and say: there’s no place like Roma…”

- Tuska



About the artist:
Born in Yukon, Pennsylvania, and raised in New York City, John Regis Tuska (1931-1998) earned his art degrees from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in upstate New York (B.F.A., 1959, M.F.A., 1960). After serving in the Navy, he moved to Kentucky in 1960 to teach ceramics at Murray State University and began teaching at the University of Kentucky in 1963, serving as a professor of art until his retirement in 1994. He completed four major sculpture commissions-Genesis (1969) and Illumine (1995) at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, Flight of Icarus (1974) at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, and the portrait of Senator John Sherman Cooper (1984) for the Kentucky State Capitol, Frankfort, KY-and he provided a series of drawings for poet Alvin Greenberg’s publication The House of the Would-be Gardener (NY: New Rivers Press, 1972). His work is in several public collections: Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, Evansville, IN; Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY; Krannert Art Museum, Champaign-Urbana, IL; Palmer Art Museum, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA; Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art, Alfred, NY; and University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington, KY. Tuska’s work also has been acquired for numerous corporate collections, including Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Elizabethtown, KY, Phillip Morris Corporation, Louisville, KY, and KFC Corporation, Louisville, KY.