Oranje Slice: Minda Douglas explores the art in ecology 

Minda Douglas of Noblesville, Indiana, returns for a second year at Oranje. A printmaker and mixed media artist, she's bringing back her little press – only twelve inches wide – to print hand-carved linoleum block prints on site, including her image of a hawk with an orange poised on this head.

Douglas will be joined by four of her former or current art students from Indiana University Kokomo: Tim Davis, Christina Hollering, Theresa Stewart, and Abby Workman.

"I'm thinking of the Oranje experience both as an artist and as a teacher," says Douglas, who is an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts.

The five artists will take over three booth spaces, each displaying their art and selling the linoleum block prints for $10 each. "Hot off the press, so to speak," Douglas says, laughing.

Douglas' good humor matches her larger, scrupulously composed contemporary mixed media drawings framed with hand-cut and painted poplar frames ($600 each). They address themes of ecology and the environment. Starting with a base of spray paint to give work texture and quick color, she then draws or prints images using materials such as pastel, charcoal, gouache, and Sharpie. Douglas measures out proportions mathematically in balanced bands, usually in thirds, and effectively places subjects so they read like symbols.

"A piece I hope to finish for Oranje is a tortoise walking across a wall of human bones," says Douglas. The turtle symbolizes truth. The work was inspired by a recent visit to the Catacombs of Paris, where Douglas will bring students next May.

"I'm always interested in animals and their life space, and comparing the life span to humans and geological time." She read Charles Darwin's biography, which spawned more work infused with animals, mortality, and the notion of time.

Although awarded an MFA in Printmaking, she confides, "I always thought I'd get another degree in biology or ecology, but I keep my interests alive in my art." Visit her website at www.mindadouglas.com


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