Latife Warshawsky, an artist living in Mission Viejo, recently debuted her art exhibit to decorate the halls of the city’s public library. Take a look at her collection, which is filled with sprawling landscapes and portraits of trash cans, and it is easy to see not only Warshawsky’s creativity, but also how she was able to achieve the American dream.
Warshawsky worked for Turkish Airlines as a flight attendant and flight attendant instructor for 17 years. During her travels she realized the United States is where she wanted to spend her retirement. She immigrated in 1980. Prior to her years as a flight attendant, she lived in Turkey’s capital city and attended the University of Ankara studying literature art.
A year prior to retirement, Warshawsky took a year off and moved to the United States. She did this “to see if she could make it,” referring to her doubts of surviving financially and creating a new career in a foreign country. Fortunately, with ambition and the the help of friends, she successfully settled in Mission Viejo a year later.
“Mission Viejo is a fantastic little city and nobody knows it,” she says of her home away from her beloved home in Turkey. Warshawsky looked at cities all over the southland, from Dana Point to Santa Barbara before deciding on this Orange County location, but she explains that making the decision was easy because of the city’s beauty and unique energy. Residing on the scenic lakeside of Lake Mission Viejo, she says, “it’s like my own little Istanbul.”
The artist draws her inspiration for her artwork from the natural beauty that surrounds her home. Additionally, she integrates her own personal philosophies into her art and contrasts herself with the kinds artists who make art for the purpose of decorating a home. “I want to raise with my artwork some philosophy, some idea or some thought,” she says.
“My philosophy is to take the things we forget and take for granted and bring them to life,” which can be seen in her unexpected portrait of garbage cans that she completed in order to illustrate the important and overlooked role of these curbside waste containers.
“After you come to the age of 72 like I am, there’s no rules because you’ve lived your life.”
Warshawsky’s collection, which is the product of her masters thesis completed at Laguna College of Art and Design, was displayed in the south wing of the Mission Viejo Library through Monday, March 4.