Bruce Kozma

Obituary of Bruce Kozma

Bruce Alex Kozma of Fairfield, Connecticut died on February 27th, 2018 at the age of 70. He is survived by his wife Patricia (Miller) Kozma, his son Bram Joseph Kozma from a previous marriage to Sandra Kozma of Fairfield, Connecticut, and step-son Jeffrey Scott Miller.

Bruce was born on March 28, 1947 in Bridgeport, Connecticut to Alexander Stephen Kozma and Elizabeth Varjas Kozma.

As a child, Bruce lived with his parents and his mother's sister (Aunt) Jennie Varjas who adored him in a home built by his grandfather on Black Rock Turnpike. He is a graduate of Andrew Warde High School in Fairfield and The University of Charleston, West Virginia with a degree in Speech Therapy.

Following graduation, Bruce provided speech therapy to students in various schools in Fairfield County and later directed programs for person with disabilities in various local facilities, even as he began to develop his artistic interests. He would ultimately take up residence in Stamford, Connecticut, Venice, Florida, Buffalo, and later in Manhattan, with travels to dozens of cities around the country. In 2004, Bruce's life circled back to his childhood home to care for his beloved mother and aunt after his father passed away.

Bruce always had an affinity for art, but it was the late 1970s when he discovered that the medium of stained glass enabled him to fuse light, material, form and color in a uniquely self-expressive manner. As one explores his work from over the years, stunning pieces spring to life, perhaps suggesting meaningful stories, quiet truths, subtle wisdom and insights that reflect the dual vantage point of viewer and the artist—more a conversation than a reflection of the artist alone. This may be a non-traditional approach to art—one that combines philosophical, spiritual and metaphorical qualities with touches of humor and lighthearted whimsy. Thus, his artistry becomes accessible to many. He had a profound ability to enjoy people from all walks of life; and people from all walks of life enjoyed him in return.

In the late 1990s, as manager of the Broome Street Gallery in SoHo, Bruce curated an annual series of shows that displayed his work alongside that of other artists with whom he felt a connection. Just like the glass choices for his own creations, he carefully selected and displayed a body of their paintings, sculptures, and other media, in a manner that spoke as well to the artistic theme of the overall collection.

These annual shows became known as "A Celebration of Possibilities" with receptions that spilled out onto the street. Shows were followed by after-parties at Cedar Tavern where each artist had a piece or two displayed among the glasswork Bruce installed there throughout the years.

His work has appeared in galleries and exhibitions from Florida to San Francisco, Buffalo and New York City. Today, one of his pieces—"Windows to the Soul"—is part of the permanent collection of The Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia.

His kindness and patience, his empathy and compassion for the people he held dear in life, will be forever missed. And his innate ability to take people under his wing, offering support, guidance and a vision of what is possible will be irreplaceable to those who knew him well.

Friends may gather to remember Bruce on Sunday, March 18, 2018 from 12-3 p.m. in the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home, 1209 Post Road, in Fairfield Center.