Ndricim Bejko, sculptor, was cordially welcomed at the latest business meeting of Everett Arts Association. Ndricim, also known as “Jimmy” gave a most interesting talk about his work.
He is employed as a lead sculpting assistant, designing and creating sculpture in conservation, restoration and replicating historically significant pieces. Shown are examples of the head of “David” and “Discobolus”, the Discus Thrower, which he has replicated.
Ndricim Bejko was born in 1970 in Permet City in Albania. Albania at that time was under the communist system until 1992 when the winds of change arrived. “I grew up and lived in Albania for 35 years, and then in 2005 I decided to immigrate to the USA and I became an American citizen in 2010. “Since I was 7 years old, I was very curious about pictures, paintings and sculptures. My uncle, who was the principal of my school, was very surprised when he first saw my drawings. He and my parents pushed me to pursue art.”
At age 14 in July 1984 he competed for admission into the artistic high school in Berat City, in which he won first place. This year determined his future because his dream was coming true. For 4 years, from 1984-1988, this school introduced him to formal art training and shaped his artistic skills. In 1988 after he finished artistic high school, he competed for admission into the Fine Art Academy in Tirana City, the capital city of Albania. This school is still the only academy of art in Albania. The corrupt government halted his dream to go through 4 years of school there. In 1992 Albania changed the system from communism to democracy. As one of the poorest countries in Europe, Albania was no longer able to ensure future prosperity to its people. Therefore, many people chose to cross the borders going to the new world for a better life and a good future. He was one of them and tried more than 4 times to start a new life in Greece. In the year 2000, his dream of going to art school came true. He received first place of 630 competitors for entry into the Fine Art Academy in Tirana City. Only 50 students were accepted. As opposed to the Classical art program in the artistic high school, at the Fine Art Academy contemporary art was the focus of study. This had not been the case since the Communist Party came into power in 1944. “The Academy deepened my knowledge of Classic and contemporary art. I consolidated styles, techniques and new materials to expand my sculpting abilities. I also explored and expanded my painting techniques and choices of media.” In 2003, he was chosen as a student representative in deanery. In 2004, he received his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Tirana Fine Art Academy. During the period from 2000-2004, he worked in different artists’ studios assisting them and participated in some exhibitions organized by the Academy. In July 2004, the lottery from the USA finally arrived. He had been applying for the lottery since 1993. “Leaving my country was a very crucial moment in my life. In January 2005, my wife, 2 children, and I left our country to pursue our dreams in the United States of America. Meanwhile, I started learning English at home and taking English classes.” In May 2006, he started working at a Massachusetts Studio as a professional sculptor and has been there ever since. He works side-by-side with the studios owner. He has worked on numerous commissions for private and public institutions, including cities and towns, schools, parks and churches, from concept to final product. “I apply the traditional principles of Classical art to my designs and also advise on the composition of commissioned private and public artworks, memorials and monuments. I have restored, preserved, and reproduced many artworks, including sculptures and paintings.”
Everett Arts Association meets monthly in the Florence Fall room at the Parlin Library in Everett Square. We offer art classes on Mondays and art demonstrations once a month. New members are always welcome. For more information, visit our web site at www.everettarts4.com