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Exhibit showcases deceased alumna

Posted on 02.06.2013

The University of Indianapolis Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center hosted a retrospective art exhibit for the late alumna Donna Stader, who passed away last year.

Stader’s exhibit featured colorful quilted work, along with paintings and handmade artist books. Admirers, friends and family of the artist were also present, including her mother Betty Stader and her friend Caryl Hancock.

“Her artwork is great,” Hancock said. “I am touched by the sensitivity and creativity of Donna.”

Stader, a 1969 graduate of UIndy, lived in Indianapolis most of her life and worked as an elementary school teacher for 32 years before retiring in 2000, while also working as a multimedia artist.

“Donna Maureen Stader: A Retrospective” displays art from a recently deceased alumna from Jan. 14 through Feb. 8 in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. Photo by Annisa Nunn.

She was known for her vibrant fabric art which was strongly influenced by her interest in Native American art and memories from her life. In addition to her art, she also wrote poetry. Stader also was a founding member of the Art Quilt Network based in Ohio and INfiber in Indianapolis and showed her work internationally throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia and Brazil.

She was a 2003 recipient of the Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the following two years had her work shown at the Indianapolis Arts Garden in 2004 and at UIndy for the first time in 2005.

The artist’s statement on her website states, “I find inspiration everywhere. Historical artifacts, literature and folklore, nature, emotions, and color have all provided jumping off points. Color is the element most important to me.”

Freshman pre-art therapy student Danielle Alvis said that she was impressed and moved by the exhibit.

“I like the color,” Alvis said. “The artist’s goal was to create the emotions and moods as music, and she really did.”

“Donna Maureen Stader: A Retrospective” will  be on exhibition at UIndy until Feb. 8.


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