Jo Anne is a life-long resident of Terre Haute. She attended Schulte High School and Indiana State University where she earned a master’s degree in art education. After college she was an art teacher in the Vigo County School Corp. for 35 years and spent most of her career teaching on the middle school level.
Jo Anne retired from teaching in 2010 and served as president of the Wabash Valley Art Guild for three years. She has continued teaching with adults in the Community School of the Arts at Indiana State University and the Wabash Activity Center.
Art work by Jo Anne has appeared in numerous regional art shows where she has received many awards. She has painted several murals, including a 50 foot mural of a coral reef for Exotic Aquariums of Miami, Fla., and the Combs Chapel mural for Union Hospital in Terre Haute. During the 2013 Year of the River, she completed two of the tile stepping stones in Watermark Landing at Fairbanks Park. This past March her table design, An Evening of Art and Wine, was awarded Best Theme at Arts Illiana’s Tablescapes. She also is a member of the Wabash Valley Art Guild, Watermark, Gaslight Art Colony and Arts Illiana. She and her husband and fellow artist, Bruce, recently relocated their art studios to the Collett Park area of Terre Haute.
“Some artists are visual storytellers. We do in one frame what movie makers do in a couple of hours, or authors do in thousands of words. Someone once looked at one of my watercolors and told me the entire story behind the picture. It was not the story I had painted but it was the story she saw when she looked at the picture. The artist, compelled to record a moment, a color, the way light plays on a surface becomes the channel. I love that interpretation becomes a personal interaction between the viewer and the work.
“This is not a job, it’s a way of life. I don’t think the art part of my brain ever turns off. When I am not actually working on art I am thinking about what I want to try next or how the current projects are going. When I see something new or different I am thinking about how I would handle it or what medium and format I would use to best capture it. I don’t have one favorite medium or even one favorite method. I love the process and getting my hands dirty. I’ve spent the last year working in printmaking and I am currently working on combining my love of the written word in my visual work.
“I count myself lucky to live in a community where there are so many creative people. Being able to network with kindred spirits is important to everyone and the support and encouragement of the arts community has kept me moving forward on many occasions.
“I believe with all my heart that life is a creative adventure and the making of art is a spiritual act.”