Donna Beck
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Are you an artist, arts organization or venue?
What town do you live in?
In which disciplines do you work or exhibit?
Fiber, Words, Other
Artist Statement/Bio
I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t “making art.” I once heard a priest talk about his “calling”—saying that it was something he had no choice but to follow, even though he tried to silence it at times—and I said, “That’s exactly how I feel about my art work!” Something I have little control over pushes me—always.

I’m a paper and mixed media artist. I’ve been working with handmade paper and pulp for about 11 years. I also incorporate surface-decorated papers, other fibers, beads, found objects, stitching, basketry and packaging techniques in my work. I am drawn to paper casting and exploring the 3-D possibilities of paper, an extension of my earlier interest and studies in sculpting and clay work. I create “Lorica” bowls, wall pieces, “waterdrop” talismans, handmade and altered books, original cards, and tiles, trivets, and trays.

The natural world influences my work at every stage. It’s a world where I find calm and inspiration. Many of the found natural objects I use are works of art in themselves—an intricate, meandering grapevine tendril; a perfectly round, smooth, wave-tumbled stone from the coast; birch bark; Manzanita burls; a bird’s nest; a bone; a poppy seed pod; an antler. They are little miracles that never fail to make me smile and rejoice in the wonder of nature. It’s delightful to me when my children, husband, or neighborhood kids, bring me beautiful, natural treasures they’ve found and say, ‘Here. This is for your art work,’ or ‘Look, mom, what I found for you.’

In addition to the natural world, a few other influences make an impact on my work: feminine issues, spirituality, and emotions. On a more concrete level, these influences might be a yearning, a face, a color, music, autumn, a world event that evokes deep emotion—like war, Katrina, or the tsunami in Japan. Or it could be the more personal things we deal with on a day-to-day basis: joy, despair, love, frustration.

Two of my art lines are particularly meaningful to me: my Lorica bowls and my “Life” series of wall pieces. “Lorica” bowls have a spiritual element that makes them all-encompassing for me to work on. “Lorica” is the Celtic word for a blessing or prayer; the bowls have titles like, “Tranquility,” “Night Music,” and “Winter Comes.” I feel a great sense of peace and satisfaction when I finish one. My jauntier “Life” series deals with day-to-day emotions with a bit of whimsy. “Facing the Day,” “When Thoughts take Over,” and my newly completed, “Eye of the Storm” are 3-dimensional wall pieces. The figures in the work represent us all as we deal with hectic, often stressful, events in life with an attitude of acceptance and humor.
Describe your organization or gallery
I'm located at Indian Orchard Mills, an old textile mill in north Springfield, which has been turned into artist studios.

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“Topographies and Other Surface Tensions” & “Icons of Animalia” at Goose Divine Energy

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