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Ingrained

Tom Stauder takes wood and works it until the grains stand out and the glory of nature becomes a work of art. Jane Mudd absorbs the beauty of her farm and flows it out through her paints into grains of wheat and the green of trees. Through grains of truth and passion, grains of strength and peace, these two artists unfold the essence of life ingrained in their work.

The Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art on the campus of Central Methodist University presents its fall show "Ingrained: Paintings by Jane Mudd and Wood Creations by Tom Stauder." The exhibition opened Sunday, Aug. 25, and ran through November 24. A reception for the artists was held on Sunday, Aug. 25, 1:30-4:30 p.m. The Gallery is housed in CMU's Classic Hall on the Fayette campus.

Also included in the Gallery was "A Memorial Exhibit in Honor of Charles Banks Wilson (1918-2013)."

For Tom Stauder, art became ingrained in him when he found a stash of walnut boards in the barn of their family farm, cut by his wife's father some thirty years earlier. "The sheer beauty of the wood," he says, "and its connection to the family inspired me to try to turn it into furniture."

From furniture, Stauder turned to working on a lathe. "Every finished piece is guaranteed to be symmetrical about a central axis," he explains, "which is often the default form found in organic life."

Sauder teaches accounting at Columbia College where he coaxes students into "assembling bits of numerical data into a coherent financial statement."

"That same aesthetic has carried into my woodwork," he notes, "as I assemble numerous bits of wood into a coherent whole, be it a bowl or vase or sculpture." The art, like the wood, has become ingrained in him, defining who he is.

Jane Mudd has had art embedded in her from the beginning. She got her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Fontbonne College and her master's from University of Missouri-Columbia. She currently is assistant professor of art at William Woods University where she has taught since 1997, after stints at Stephens College and University of Missouri-Columbia.

"Ingrained is a word that certainly describes the relationship I have with my art and the way I see the world around me," Mudd says. "I have lived in the woods for the past 36 years and been dedicated to making art most of my life."

She lives on a farm where she and her family restored their log home. Her farm and family have been inspirations for many of her paintings. "I am quite happy working directly from nature," she admits. "I have a tendency to gravitate towards complex patterns. The more variety I attempt to observe, the more I seem to get lost in the process."

Mudd looks for both diversity and interconnectedness in all she paints, whether that is a Midwest prairie or a human figure. She finds similar threads in her passion for "the environment, women's issues, peace, and the importance of art in the world."

Both artists have exhibited extensively and won many awards. 

 

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