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Reimagine New England

abe a. Kreworuka - Artist 

 

The evening the family brought abe Kreworuka from the hospital a thunderstorm struck the farmhouse where his family gathered, killing a litter of collie puppies. Two separate bolts struck an Aunt holding an umbrella and a cousin running for help.

Some thought this might be a sign.

abe’s  parents both worked and he was cared for by his grandmother. It seemed he possessed unusual abilities at an early age; sculpting models from cheese and dough, drawing elaborate murals on closet walls, reading aloud to the family at age 4 and playing the piano at 5. He held a keen sense of prediction until age 6 and was issued an adult library card at age 7. 

abe attended a progressive elementary school in Malvern Pennsylvania and gained experience from field trips including studies with Chadd’s Ford collector Christian C. Sanderson and access to John J. Audubon’s studio at age 10. 

By age 12, abe began working at his father’s garage on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. His spare time was spent along the river fishing and bird-watching. During this period he had his first carnival experience and helped with show set-up and doing odd jobs at 13.

After graduating from high school, abe was barred admission from colleges he’d won scholarships to because of a bad attitude and lack of proper grades or study habits. He later was accepted for probationary admission to the University of Maryland. He flunked out but did get to know the bars of Georgetown well.

At age 20, abe entered the Marine Corps in lieu of a jail sentence. His third day at boot camp a bunk mate died next to him from overexertion while exercising for harassing drill instructors. This experience made abe question his role in the military. He declined an officer’s commission and was stationed in California where he trained pilots. An egress, environmental and cryogenic technician, he also served as a member of a nuclear, biological and chemical warfare team. Refusing to expose humans to experimental agents, he was stripped of all security clearances, lost all privileges and was ordered to Vietnam as a combat infantryman. He refused to comply with this order and eight months later he was honorably discharged as a conscientious objector.

After his discharge, abe stayed in Laguna Beach, Calif., where he surfed and snorkeled each day. Here he bumped into celebrities, including Dr. Timothy Leary and Edward G. Robinson. After buying a pair of Spanish leather boots from the same store where Ozzie Nelson and Chuck Conners shopped, abe drove across Canada. He returned to the East Coast where he worked on farms as a laborer until eventually enrolling in college.

He opened a “Hippie Store” in a basement storefront and sold art, antiques, incense and other products. When the local George Wallace for President group headquartered on the floor above, this enterprise deflated, but abe did finally get an associate’s degree and formally studied art (woodcarving, drawing, etc.) This would later prevent him from being officially classified a naive or untrained outsider, which his style might suggest.

Kreworuka worked as an organizer and preschool teacher for the impoverished for a time. Then after a brief institutional stay, he worked as a boatyard painter in order to earn enough money to explore New England. Returning from a trip to Nova Scotia he found a job at a “bootleg” unregulated sawmill in Vermont. After finding a co-worker had lost an arm doing the same job, he quit the sawmill.

abe Kreworuka next found himself studying fiction writing at The University of Maine and making movies. In 1975 he presented a short animated film at the Cannes Festival/University of Cannes entitled, “La Bete Inverness” and graduated with a B.A. in English.

Leaving Maine, he moved to Hawaii. His first job was scraping gum from the sidewalk in front of a used comic book store where he clerked and catalogued. He held several jobs during his Hawaii stay, including pool cleaner, custodian, building staging above high-rises, insulating barges, shopping cart jockey, teacher/behavioral  specialist and ride operator for Hernandez Carnival Shows. He studied figure sculpting at the University of Hawaii in Manoa.

Returning to the mainland, Kreworuka moved to Maine where he married and bought a rundown farmstead that he operated along with his woodcarving projects. He took a job working with mentally retarded people and eventually became a nursing home administrator. Differences with the corporate management caused him to tender his resignation, ending this career.

He opened a small gallery, Milford’s, in Weld Village. At this time he became an adult educator and grant writer. He began experimenting in 1992 with technology and the Internet in order to prove it was indeed possible to educate using this new-found tool as an instrument for distance learning. He opened a cyber cafe and community center called Blue. His social science experiments in technology and community led to recognition from the Kellogg Foundation, Maine Community Foundation and others.

Kreworuka launched two businesses, Blue Enterprises Inc. (a technology and private business firm) and the Electronic Rural Network (a not-for-profit corporation serving rural poor). He has written two novels, a book of short stories, prose and poetry, and has created documentaries, short films and animations.

abe Kreworuka works from his ‘HOH Studio’ in Weld, Maine, and Associate v. - the Gallery at Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey. The majority of his work is held by private collectors in North America. He has displayed art at the Weld Historical Society, Wilhelm Reich Museum in Maine, Elshar Corporate Headquarters in Sedona, Arizona, and The Secret Rose Theatre in Hollywood, California.