Sarah Dolezal

Sarah Dolezal grew up making connections with things that are found in the background, things that everyone else was always too busy to notice. This endlessly curious, fidgety and anxious artist makes builds made of of things that she simply couldn’t let rot away without a second chance to be important. “I work in lost and forgotten places and things,” Sarah said.

Giving these forgotten things a new life, Sarah’s art is an expression of her great love and vulnerability. She takes junk and broken items and builds them back up from trash to treasure. “Everything has become disposable. I think most of my work is meant to remind people of things that used to be, or the beauty in turning things people would normally throw away into new and beautiful things.”

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Her pieces are made with drills, screw guns, paint, pencils and anything else the project needs to become a reality. Made with mostly local materials, Sarah finds what she needs from second-hand stores, yard sales or just random junk that she comes across. “What I make, I love. I feel like I am takings things that could have been lost forever and turning them into things that can be loved again. When people show interest in what I make, I feel like I have found a home for a lonely orphan. I just want to keep making things and finding them loving homes. The reason I art is because I can’t help it. What I find tells me some kind of story and I make it into the thing that fits that story.”

This South Bend local has been involved with art events such as Circus of Art, Bizarre Coterie, RAW: Spectrum, Beer and Loathing: TreeHouse Shine Bar and First Peel. Some of her early work was also shown at ArtWalk Gallery in Elkhard. She was introduced to ORANJE through veteran Jim Showman. “I’m excited to be a part of something where successful artists show their work. This being the first year out of the art-supplies closet, I feel like this is an opportunity to see how well I can hang with artists I respect and admire.”

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And Sarah believes that everyone should support the arts, not only for the incredible pieces of work they create but to meet the creators. “Artists in a group provide variety, entertainment, personality and so on. I think artists are an experience on their own. Art is meant to make some kind of connection. When a person comes to appreciate art, they are appreciating a part of someone that art was created from.”

You can find Sarah’s work on Facebook or on her website. Make sure to stop by her booth on September 13!

Quincy Owens

Quincy Owens has built a life for himself surrounded by art. He has always loved creating things ever since he was a child, and he figured that he could manipulate and change them to make them more special. He has taken that principle to heart and that is still the core of what he does today.

You might have seen Quincy at ORANJE in past years (he’s been a participant six or seven times now), but his work this year is different that what you’ve experienced before. Though he still continues to create abstract paintings that focus on a balance between chaos and order, he’s been exploring materials, techniques and concepts over the past year. He has also been working on creating life-size and larger sculptures out of cardboard and reclaimed wood. “These are now getting fabricated into a larger scale and in permanent materials, such as stainless steel. I have also spent a majority of this year making 31 larger-than-humans-scale cardboard sculptures that are then coated in layers of fiberglass and pigmented epoxy resin that have speakers mounted on the inside. These are all for a huge installation on Calder Plaza for ArtPrize in Grand Rapids.”

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While the 31 sculpture installation at ArtPrize has been a highlight of the year for Quincy, you can find his work all over the place. He always has work at his studio (Studio 077) at the Harrison Center for the Arts, and they put his work in regular rotation throughout the building. If you shop on Mass Ave, you can find his handmade cufflinks at Silver in the City. He has coasters that are sold at Foundry Provisions. Outside of Indianapolis, he has work in Louisville, Cincinnati, Lafayette and Michigan.

Quincy is one of the few artists in ORANJE that is lucky enough to say that this is his full-time job (“although I don’t consider it a job”). He also supports himself through other artistic endeavors besides creating. He has recently started doing speaking engagements concerning art, creativity, faith and risk; he teaches pottery camps through the Indy YMCA summer programs and he hosts weekly camps in his studio. “I do my best to stay active and involved in the community in all sorts of ways.”

Like earlier mentioned, this isn’t Quincy’s first time at ORANJE. So why does he keep coming back for more? “I love ORANJE. It takes a commitment from all of the artsits and participants/spectators. It only happens one night of the year; either you showed up to experience it and be a part of it or you missed it. I love that. It’s a great place to catch artists and musicians at all sorts of stages in their careers. The atmosphere is very temporary and I think that encourages lower inhibitions/hesitations.”

Quincy used to think that he should inform his audience, and now that he is experienced in exhibiting his work, he’s realized that he might be taking this approach all wrong. “Come check out the work and let me know what YOU think about it. I already know what I think about it. People surprise me every day in the things they see within my art.”

Mallory Hodgkin

Mallory Hodgkin has been drawing ever since she can remember, and often drawing on things that shouldn’t have been! She attended Savannah College of Art and Design, graduating in 2009 with a Bachelors in Illustration.

Since then, she has been working on building a name for herself in the art world, working towards a career in which she can use her talents to make a living. She currently works for a furniture company, but hopes that can change in the future. “I’m hopeful that art will be my paycheck in a few years. My studio is actually a large closet in my apartment, but to be fair, it is a GREAT closet. I would love to create more illustrations than fine art eventually, but it’s hard to squash the urge to just paint sometimes and it’s not super easy to work full time in non-art and get the art. I have also lately been considering tattooing as an option, so I guess on that track my goal would be to see my artwork on people’s bodies!”

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Mallory Hodgkin takes influences from comics, illustration, graffiti and animation, mashes them all together into crazy pieces of art that mix surrealism and cartoons together as one. From start to finish, Mallory’s acrylic pieces made on canvas can take anywhere from two to twelve hours depending on the complexity. So where does she get her inspiration? “Inspiration can take a lot of forms…mainly I just start to draw and it comes out, but in times of an idea drought I illustrate various topics or stories and it helps a lot with the block.”

This is Mallory’s fourth year being an ORANJE participant. “I’ve always made a good return and had people interested in custom works after the event. I’m excited about participating again, it’s always a blast! It’s a great experience and all the artists and music are well-chosen for this type of event. People should visit my booth because I’ll be giving out free one minute doodles of whatever you want!”

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Currently, Mallory’s work is hanging up in Sabbatical in Broad Ripple, and earlier this year, Mike Altman (fellow ORANJE artist) exhibited some of her works in Cincinnati. Check out her website here. You can come check out her booth at ORANJE 2013 on October 12!

Artist Spotlight: Kristen Neufelder

Artist Kristen Neufelder officially began her life as an artist back in elementary school, perfecting how to draw cats with pupil-less eyes and horses with backs so elongated that 20 people could fit comfortably on their backs. Equipped with her Ranger Rick magazines and How To Draw Horses books, she began to develop her animal drawing skills. Throughout middle and high school, she began to further broaden her skills and grew her subject base to include human figures and landscapes. By the end of high school, she had discovered a love of oil painting, committing herself to pursue that passion in college.

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After two years in art school working towards a Bachelors in painting, she began to get burnt out and craved using the non-creative side of her brain. Eventually, Kristen changed her major to psychology and took a break from all artistic pursuits. After a two year “artistic drought,” she began to refocus on painting as a hobby. She experimented with subjects and styles that had real meaning to her, and it was then that her artistic style emerged.

Today, Kristen has expanded her painting business to include design, photography and videography. She owns a business called enCompass Studio doing everything from wedding photography to senior videos to website design along with oil painting. She is also currently in graduate school pursuing a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. “I enjoy the balance of pursuing my creative passions along with my passion for helping others,” she said.

Kristen’s oil paintings are comprised of layers and layers of paint that have been splattered and dripped onto canvas utilizing a variety of techniques. The background is then filled with animal images, her favorites being wolves and lions. These more detailed animal images are painted in a transparent manner, allowing the background paint layers to still show through. Some paintings are finished off with a mountainous or forested landscape painted in this same transparent manner.

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You can tell from looking at Kristen’s work that she is inspired by western motifs and color schemes, finding inspiration in wild animals and Native American culture. “I’ve grown up fascinated with Native American culture and spirituality, and it’s always guided me along in the creative process. A lot of my symbolism and themes relate back to Native American influence. Along with finding inspiration in wild animals and Native American culture, I love horoscopes, zodiac signs, constellations and star charts. Cave art, in all its simplicity and beauty, has always spoken to me on an artistic level. I love stories, storytelling, symbolism and finding meaning in the mundane, and that’s the direction the inspiration for my paintings have been taking me in lately.”

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ORANJE will be a new experience for Kristen, who has been involved in two RAW: Natural Born Artists showcases here in Indianapolis as well as various First Fridays at the Historic Irving Theater on Indy’s eastside. ”This is my first year at ORANJE and I’m honored to have been given this opportunity! I’m most excited to get to show off all my hard work to individuals who haven’t yet had a chance to check out my paintings. ORANJE is such an amazing opportunity to check out what local artists and musicians have been up to, that people should definitely come check it out.”

Make sure to check out Kristen’s booth, where she will have an interactive piece that will allow attendees a hands-on chance to get involved in what she does. “I would love for as many people to get to participate with it as possible!”

You can keep up with Kristen at her website, Facebook page and on Twitter. Stop by and see her on October 12 at ORANJE 2013!

Stella Brickel

You could say that art is simply in Stella Brickel’s blood, and that she can’t survive without it.

Coming from a family that shares a passion for art, design and fashion (her father is a wood worker and artist), Brickel has always loved to draw. With plans to go to school for art, her life took a different direction as she focused on a General Studies degree, worked full-time and served in the Army Reserves. She eventually started working as the Coordinator of Staff and Environmental Development at Outside the Box, an organization that provides day, employment and art services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. It was at this time that her creativity really picked up.

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Brickel met Lauren Church and Kate Wagner (former ORANJE participant) at the art studio at Outside the Box and fell in love with everything they were doing, so she picked up a paintbrush and started painting. With no former painting experience, Wagner and Church gave her pointers and tips to help Brickel develop her art and technique. Ever since then, Brickel hasn’t stopped creating. “I don’t feel like a whole person if I don’t draw, paint or do something creative,” she said.

Brickel’s artwork can’t be put into a box or specific genre, and she doesn’t use specific techniques or materials. But if there’s one word to describe what she does, it’s funky!  ”I really enjoy painting, creating jewelry and drawing. My paintings are vibrant and playful; I love colors…bright colors! I do like to incorporate texture into most of my pieces, but some have none. I use collage from time to time as well. All of my most recent drawings are created with black ink and are sort of doodles. I also create wearable art from recycled paper products and other materials…some old, some new.”

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Brickel’s jewelry (starting at $25) has been shown at the Chicago open air artisan market early this Spring. Although she has an Etsy site, she’s somewhat computer-challenged so she shows her pieces in her home or others’ homes. ORANJE will be her first “official” art show. “I have been to ORANJE as an observer and it was so cool. I am super excited to have the opportunity to be on the other side of things. The event is so alive and the place is teeming with talent. If you have not ever been exposed to art, this is a great first event to attend because it has such a fun, party-time atmosphere. People should come to my booth because I am totally new to the scene. I don’t want to give too much away, but I am planning a pretty kick-ass display as well!”

Come look for Brickel’s booth on October 12 at ORANJE 2013!

Jonathan Foerster

Jonathan Foerster has been drawing ever since he was two years old, mimicking the work of his father drawing up blue prints. By the time he was in kindergarten, he was already drawing full-shaped figures while all of the other kids were still struggling to draw stick figures. Since that time, he has never stopped drawing.

Once he turned 16, creating using a computer grabbed ahold of him and wouldn’t let go. Now, his artwork is created digitally, using a variety of tools such as Photoshop, StudioMax and Illustrator. Stitching together 3D elements, textures, digitally drawn elements and photos, Foerster creates abstract and surreal scenery in his artwork.

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“Art has always been an escape for me; a way to cope, a way to think, a way to burrow deep into my mind for awhile and let the outside world vanish,” said Foerster. “With that said, it’s mainly life and my experiences. Sometimes I will have a general idea of what I want a piece to look like, but it will morph as the year passes.”

Creating is not a quick process for Foerster, with most pieces taking anywhere between six months to a year off and on. Sometimes he even tweaks and fiddles with a piece for over a two-year span. “These aren’t something I whip up in a week or a month; a lot of thought, tweaking, experimentation and a dash of insanity goes into my work.”

Foerster is a Senior Multimedia Designer at NuOrbit Media here in Indianapolis, designing websites, video and applications for clients such as Tropicana, Gatorade and Pepsi along with some local entities such as The Children’s Museum and The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This will be his third year showing his work at ORANJE, bringing some new pieces with him that have never been seen before. “I’ve met some great people thanks to the event and I have a lot of fun doing it,” he said. “I think it’s one of the best events Indy has to offer. It blew my mind the first year I attended (not as a participant but as a spectator); it was stimulation overload. I said ‘I have to do this.’ Now, here I am.”

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With pieces ranging anywhere from $5 to $400, Foerster sells a wide variety of work. Locally, he’s shown his work at several locations such as Bier Brewery and Indy Indie Artist Colony. In the future, he’d like to challenge himself more with his artwork. “I’d like to move back out of the digital realm and go back to my roots in traditional media. I’ve become too comfortable and it’s time to challenge myself again.”

If you’d like to see keep up with Jonathan before October 12, you can find him on Facebook, Twitter and his website.

Justin Vining

If you live, work or play in Broad Ripple, you’ve probably walked past Justin Vining’s studio at one point or another or even been greeted by his dog hanging out on the front porch. You can usually find him inside working on new pieces surrounded by colorful walls covered from floor to ceiling with an impressive art collection.

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For those of you who haven’t seen Vining’s work, his watercolors and acrylic paintings can be described as looking similar to Tim Burton or Dr. Seuss landscapes. Vining’s interest in art goes back to high school when he took an art class as an elective, which sparked his interest in the subject. This interest stuck through his time at Purdue and his teaching career at Maple Ridge, but it was at the end of his first semester at Valpo Law that Vining’s true talent emerged. He picked up a paint brush and began to paint a series of work that was much stronger than what he had previously done. Vining went on to graduate and pass the Indiana Bar Exam, but he has continued to focus on creating art full-time.

This will be Vining’s third year as an ORANJE participant. “One of the things I love most about ORANJE is the variety of artists represented each year,” he said. “If you have experienced ORANJE, you know what I mean. If not, I high recommend coming this year!”

So where does Vining get his inspiration for the whimsical landscapes he creates? He credits three main influences: growing up on a farm, the creative minds of his former students and the artists that Vining admires and pays tribute to in his work. Some of those artists include painter/muralist Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood (best known for his American Gothic painting) and visual artist Andrew Wyeth. A little known fact about Vining is that he is an avid chess player, which is where the checkerboard pattern comes from that is frequently found in his work.

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With hopes of one day being able to see his work in museums, Vining shows his pieces in Indianapolis at a variety of First Friday venues, including the Upland Propaganda Room and New Day Meadery, and art shows such as Penrod and Broad Ripple Art Fair. “ORANJE is a show that encourages artists to push their limits, be experimental and create an experience for those attending, so I look forward to creating a booth that is not just geared towards selling work but people can interact with it in some way,” said Vining. “The show is months away and I am already planning my booth. I look forward to seeing it come together during the final week leading up to the show.”

Want to see a little more of Justin Vining before October 12? You can keep up with him on his webpage, Facebook and Twitter!