By Pria Rahmouni
Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
Jane Dusanic is a featured artist at the Vigo County Public Library until the second week of September. Dusanic is a member of the Wabash Valley Art Guild and treasurer for the organization.
Dusanic’s relationship with art dates back to her elementary school days. She drew faces and other things so well that she was even commissioned by fellow kids to draw something for them — for a fee of one sheet of notebook paper. She regularly filled her class projects in various subjects with drawings that were relevant to the topics assigned. She vividly remembers two topics: the Lewis and Clark expedition; and mosquitoes. She recalls being rather surprised that other kids traced their drawings, while she drew her own images that never failed to fetch her an A. From such playful beginnings, by high school, Dusanic’s art made it to a statewide exhibit.
While Dusanic did not formally pursue art as her major in college, she took training through classes and workshops when she moved to Terre Haute. She credits artist Laura Mason for having taught her a great deal, especially painting with watercolors. She also studied art in Taiwan, where she lived for brief periods in the early-1990s.
Dusanic is drawn to scenes and themes involving water. Having been married to a fishing enthusiast, she travelled to many places that had a seashore. She has expressed her love for waterscapes by capturing scenes in Alaska, a remote island in the Bahamas and other such tranquil destinations. She found it rewarding to paint things that carried a meaning to particular people and give her work to such individuals. “I got paid with a lot of hugs,” Dusanic said. Some of the paintings are now on display at local businesses owned by those people.
An example of Dusanic’s affinity to water scenes can be seen at the exhibit at the library. The piece is a fishing scene set in northern New Mexico with the fisherman at work far away below a dam. The subjects in the painting are real, but Dusanic confesses that she did not note the name of the dam. It is the peace and calm she felt at this location, and the “happy fisherman” that mark her memory.
Dusanic also offers a series of paintings with cats as the main subject. Many have been sold, including note cards with the same images. She calls the collection “Cats with Attitudes.”
Dusanic has been the winner of several awards in regional art shows, including the Paris Bicentennial Art Center exhibits, WVAG shows and the Covered Bridge Art Association show. Her art has been featured in numerous events at venues in Vigo and surrounding counties. She also has enjoyed doing joint shows and booth displays with fellow artist JoAnne Fiscus.
As Dusanic prepares for a busy fall season, her works also can be viewed at Arts Illiana. She can be contacted through the Wabash Valley Art Guild at 812-394-2353.