Artist Meg Lagodzki. Courtesy photo


Six years ago, Bloomington artist Meg Lagodzki, 47, had a serious illness that resulted in the removal of her thyroid. After the surgery, she was entirely unable to speak for two months, and then only in a whisper for a year. The loss of her voice caused Lagodzki to fall into a depression. She coped by returning to oil painting, something she had given up for 10 years to focus on her family—her husband, Karol, and their daughters Maggie, 16, and Ania, 13.

In the past, Lagodzki painted portraits and figures, but after her illness her art took a new direction. She started taking painting classes at Indiana University and, at the encouragement of an instructor, tried landscape painting. She found herself particularly drawn to south-central Indiana’s limestone quarries—an interest that stems in part from a concern about human impact on the environment.      

“It’s a manufactured landscape,” she says of the quarries. “They shouldn’t exist like that. They’re beautiful, and bizarre, but sort of impossible.”

In addition to painting at the sites, Lagodzki takes photos that she brings back to her studio, where she can work on larger paintings that convey the scale of the quarries. “I want you to feel that sort of immersion,” she says.

Lagodzki’s next show, a solo exhibition at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, takes place in October. That same month, Bloomington artists open their studios to the public for an entire weekend during the 2017 Bloomington Open Studios Tour. Lagodzki is one of the organizers of the event, which she says has been a source of support for her as she’s returned to the art world.

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Take a moment to view this slideshow featuring Meg Lagodzki’s art (courtesy photos):