About Cynthia Blasingham

 

   

         A recent Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship recipient, Indianapolis based artist Cynthia Blasingham has shown her work in over 125 exhibits, including over 65 national, regional, and state juried shows and 20 one- and two-person shows.  She is a signature member of Watercolor Society of Indiana, an elected member of Indiana Artists Club, and an exhibiting member of the Kentucky Watercolor Society.  In addition to years on the Boards of Directors, she has served as Chairman of the Board for CCA Gallery several times and as President of Watercolor Society of Indiana twice.  She is a founding member of INprint, a group of regional printmakers based in Central Indiana, and has served as its Chairman for the past five years.  Her work is shown through the Hoosier Salon Gallery in Broad Ripple Village.   Her work is in private, corporate, and public collections.

While exploring art from before kindergarten to high school, she also pursued a career in her other love, the biological sciences, earning a B.A. in Zoology from Duke University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physiology from the Indiana University Medical Center, and doing medical research and teaching.  In mid-life she returned to art school, obtaining a Diploma in Fine Arts from the Indianapolis Art Center, and began a second career as a fine artist.  Her interest in life science and human physiology blends with life art; her lifelong interest in biology blends with natural subjects and a process orientation.

For the past twelve years, Blasingham has been experimenting with pulling her own sheets of handmade paper from a slurry of cotton linter and favoring thick, textural paper with uneven, random edges.  If different colors of slurry are used, the handmade paper may stand on its own as the piece of art.  Alternatively, she may apply a watercolor batik using a hot wax method or use the handmade paper as a substrate for a hand-pulled print.   She explains why she has enjoyed handmade paper and batik, "This way of working is wet, messy, and physical.  It requires total immersion in the process.  This is definitely not a 'safe' way to work - there is no guarantee of a 'perfect product.'  This is a 'process-oriented' way of working, not 'product-oriented.'  It is a risk and a challenge to let yourself freely explore, and therein lies the excitement."  A similar approach of experimentation and process can be used to create plates for printmaking as well.                                        

Three recent accomplishments are particularly close to her heart - the expansion under her leadership as Chairman for the past five years of INprint, a group of 30 regional  printmakers,  her work as a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship Recipient in making non-toxic printmaking accessible to school-age youth and adults in Central Indiana, and her work as an Indiana Arts Commission Grant recipient in creating the suite "Prints of the Indiana Wetlands."

 

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