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December 13, 2019

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ONU emeritus artist seeks inspiration from water environments

Several of Judith Greavu's works are in the collection of Jane's Art Center, Florida

Judith Greavu, associate professor emeritus in art at Ohio Northern, was recently featured in a Facebook post from Jane's Art Gallery in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. She is also featured on the Center’s website.

 The gallery is an eclectic fine art exhibition space featuring art from American and European artists.

Here’s a compilation of photos and comments from Greavu from the Center’s website.

''For many years I ran my own small foundry, handling all the steps of the casting and welding processes myself. Since I turned 75, I have turned over those technical processes to people I have great trust in.

I still have complete control of the wax for the lost wax process, which means total control of the shapes and textures, down to my very own finger prints in some works. I have complete control of the glass.

I clean and grind the castings myself as there are frequent decisions to be made. I hover at the elbow of the welder in case there are aesthetic decisions.''

A Florida childhood shaped the artist’s brain through exploring life forms in the Atlantic Ocean, the Halifax River, Ocala Forest Springs and rural areas west of Holly Hill, Florida.

Observing and playing with sea creatures, insects and plants built a vocabulary of forms, movements and textures that still dominates the artist’s sculptures. The imagery is frequently abstracted, combining a variety of movements and forms.

For inspiration, the artist has continued to seek out water environments from Ohio ponds and rivers to tide pools of coastal Ireland.

A residency in the Florida Everglades led to a side trip exploration of Florida Reefs and the development of a large scale installation featuring 3-D and 2-D images of dozens of reef creatures.

Most recently there has been a return to the Florida childhood haunts with a series referencing Florida Springs of the Ocala Forest. The sculptures are cast bronze, sometimes with the inclusion of fused glass.

The lost wax process of bronze casting allows for extensive explorations of textures which are enhanced when the final bronze is given a patina and selectively polished. The fused glass has been used to imply water.

Greavu taught at Bluffton University and retired from Ohio Northern University where she was associate professor in the department of art & design from 1985–2005.