Bloomington is blessed with a myriad of artists working in a wide variety of mediums. Here, we present the works of 17. There are many more, for sure.
The life of an artist is not an easy one and few are able to make it solely on income from the sale of their art. Almost all have day jobs. We have purposely not included artists who teach art at Indiana University or who have in the past because we assume that they are financially secure. Our hope here is that some readers will purchase the art they see or other works by a favored artist.
Unless you have money to spare, I think you really have to fall in love with a painting or sculpture to buy it. When you do, an original work of art becomes yours alone, a precious possession that serves no worldly function other than to be admired and shared with family and friends.
So, beware. As you browse this artwork, you just might fall in love.
It’s hard for mixed media artist Larissa Danielle to name her favorite medium. Much of her work combines paint, sculpture, fiber, and an array of recycled materials on canvas. “I was tired of seeing flat paint,” says the Silver Springs, Maryland, native.
See Larissa Danielle’s work here.
Tamar Kander’s abstract paintings start with a textural layer that might include shopping lists, insulation, or the sweepings from her studio floor. After adding layers of paint and other materials, Kander declares each piece finished only after she has considered it in different settings and upside-down.
See Tamar Kander’s work here.
As president of local mechanical contracting firm Harrell-Fish Inc., Steve Dawson might seem an unlikely artist. But after a mountain-biking accident left him with a broken arm and four months of convalescence, he decided to take an art class.
See Steve Dawson’s work here.
Wyatt LeGrand says he prefers painting “weird, funky things rather than pretty things.” He estimates that he makes more than 1,000 paintings a year.
“I have kind of a blue-collar approach to producing artwork,” he says. “Just make a whole bunch of it, know where to steer yourself, then step back and look at the artwork and go from there. Read more.
Martina Celerin’s fiber art combines traditional weaving techniques with felting and reclaimed materials like shells, rocks, and old jewelry to create tapestries that tell a visual story. Read more.
In the age of digital modeling and 3-D laser printers, working with a hammer and chisel may seem “kind of archaic,” admits stone carver Amy Brier. But it’s precisely this connection to human origins that makes her craft compelling. Read more.
In 2019, husband-and-wife team Joe and Bess Lee exhibited more than a dozen 2 1/2-by-3-foot acrylic paintings on paper in the style of mid-20th-century circus sideshow banners in a show called Professor Animalia’s Menagerie of Struggling Species in Bloomington and Indianapolis. Read more.
Dawn Adams specializes in water imagery: fresh, salt, still, rippling, melting, frozen. She focuses on water because the paintings could be both representational and abstract. “Water changes things,” she notes. “Reflections, sparkling water, the light going through. You can hardly believe it exists in reality, it’s so magical.” Read more.
After 37 years as an art teacher, Patricia Rhoden retired in 2013 and now spends most days creating oil and acrylic paintings in her Nashville, Indiana, studio. Much of her work is impressionistic, and she’s known for her silver and gold leaf floral landscapes. Read more.
Upon retiring from Indiana University as a distinguished professor of literacy, culture, and language in 2006, Jerome Harste began studying with renowned artists in several states. Read more.
Cartoonist Kevin Pope has illustrated for Playboy magazine, the Chicago Tribune, Mad Magazine, the NBC animated show Sammy, Pepsi TV commercials, and the comics Inside Out and The Far Side. Read more.
After Meg Lagodzki had a serious illness that resulted in the removal of her thyroid, she was entirely unable to speak for two months, and then only in a whisper for a year. Depressed, she coped by returning to oil painting, something she had given up for 10 years to focus on her family. Read more.
Even before painter and ceramicist Mark Blaney moved to Bloomington in 2010, he had contributed artwork to various local arts endeavors, including albums and publications by local composer Malcolm Dalglish. Read more.
For four years, Bloomington’s Jennifer Mujezinovic painted the whimsical portrait covers for the All About children’s book series. After 12 total book covers, Mujezinovic has decided to begin taking a new creative direction. Read more.
A self-taught artist, Joel Washington’s work can be found in Bloomington galleries and restaurants, in departments across Indiana University, and at the Indiana State Museum. Read more.
Brown County resident Dixie Ferrer considers herself an artist of texture, exploring the combined mediums of oil paint and cold wax. Read more.
Initially finding it easier to paint in a realist style, Jerry Smith says his work has adapted with time. “I’ve turned toward impressionism,” Smith says. “My direction has been to loosen up, simplify, work with bigger shapes.” Read more.