Born in Cleveland, Mr. Babyak left Ohio at 16 to travel and has lived in numerous places throughout the U.S., as well as in Europe where he served in the U.S. military. At the end of his service, he returned to Ohio where he graduated from the University of Cincinnati, Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in Ballet. Michael began his 10-year career as a dancer with the Cincinnati Opera and performed with various regional ballet companies until 1992. Upon retiring from dance, Mr. Babyak made a career of what had, until then, been a part-time passion – painting.
In 1993 Michael moved to New York City and supported himself solely through the sale of his paintings. He has exhibited work in several national juried shows, including Emerging Visions in Los Angeles, National Works on Paper at St. John’s University in New York and the 3 Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh. Mr. Babyak has done scenic design for ballet as well as had his work televised on the WB Network’s Jamie Foxx Show. He is the recipient of the Critic’s Pick Award from Manhattan Arts International Magazine, winner of “Best in Show” from the South Miami Arts and Crafts Festival 2003, winner of the Portrait Award at the 2003 Washington Square Outdoor Art Festival in New York City, 2004 “Best New Artist” at A Festival of Art Corning, New York and awarded 1st Place Abstract Painting at the Allentown Art Festival in Buffalo, New York in 2005. In 2007, Mr. Babyak left New York, and currently resides in Austin, Texas.
Mr. Babyak’s work has evolved from realist figurative images in oils, acrylics and charcoals, to abstraction and realism, primarily in acrylic. Often there is a sense of movement to his work, whether the subject be animate or inanimate, which can be attributed to Mr. Babyak’s background in dance. His paintings are a direct reflection of an exploration of feelings about both the physical and imagined, resulting in work that possesses an intangible aspect that somehow strikes a familiar note.