Cheery expression: Alumna Oudeans’ art spreads holiday cheer

Alumna Danica OudeansUW-Green Bay alumna and artist in residence Danica Oudeans got an early surprise this holiday season. A piece of artwork she donated to UW-Green Bay after her graduation in 2003 was chosen for the Chancellor’s annual holiday card. The painting is part of the University’s permanent art collection and currently hangs in the office of Adult Degree Academic Advisor, Krista Shaw.

“I love the painting because it brightens up my office. It reflects the very energy that I want to be surrounded by and that I want students to feel when they walk in my office: positive, calm, and bright,” Shaw said.

Oudeans explained the meaning of the oil-on-canvas painting.

holiday card“Emerging From My Bedroom” is a depiction of strength emerging from sustained hardship. Life circumstances burgeon and change in an instant. Each day brings with it the chance to live instead of exist.

Oudeans graduated from UW-Green Bay as a Studio Arts major, with a minor in Humanistic Studies and received her MFA in Studio Arts from Miami University of Ohio. Her educational background in science, literature and history continues to influence her artwork.

“There isn’t really a big difference between science and art. Art just gives me a chance to express things that I don’t have to prove,” said Oudeans.

Oudeans interconnects topics to create understanding in a visually appealing way. Her influences range from observations in nature, to the relationships between things and how they impact one another. Oudeans has a rational approach to analyzing her own work.

Oudeans has a workspace in the Studio Arts building where she is currently working on her latest series that is based on the concept of how beauty can come from destructive process. She is currently experimenting with relief carving on a shaped canvas. Paintings are done on a canvas that is not flat or rectangular, but can take any two- or three-dimensional shape. Oudeans creates the canvas by using a technique called relief carving, the process of removing wood from a flat wood panel to create a three-dimensional object.

As an artist in residence at UW-Green Bay, Oudeans has an opportunity to impact Art students in a less formal setting while students get a glimpse of how a professional artist works. Oudeans says that she has learned more from her failures than her successes in her art career, which is something she likes to teach her students.

“It’s important for students to learn how to fail successfully so they will be more willing to take risks and get past their fear of failure on the journey to success,” Oudeans said.

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