News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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December 5, 2013

River City highlights pen and ink artist in December

River City Art Association and the Vigo County Public Library are showcasing artwork by Mike Bender of Terre Haute throughout December in the library at Seventh and Poplar streets.

The Brazil native’s talent emerged at age 11 when he enrolled in an oil painting workshop, working alongside his mother, Della. He later illustrated the Staunton High School newspaper and designed its yearbook before graduating with an art scholarship.

Bender’s creative side then took a back seat while he pursued auto/diesel mechanics at Lincoln Tech and a job at his family managed trucking terminal in Brazil. After various jobs, he took residence in Virginia and then worked at coal mines in Kentucky and Virginia until his father’s health failed, requiring him to return home.

Bender chose to pursue his childhood talent as Vigo County launched its “2013 Year of the River” celebration.

“I’ve lived a full life, but consider this year successful participating in RCAA shows, and events receiving honors, awards and publication. My works have been aimed on historic civilizations and the repeated results of mankind and nature. I try to regain viewers’ interest with detail and spark thought and imagination working with black and white,” Bender said.

“I’m fortunate to have the second chance at artwork.”

Bender sells limited edition prints of his pen and ink drawings as well as his original pieces. He also is working on commissioned architectural portraits of registered historic landmarks.

River City Art Association meets the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit rivercityart.org or call RCAA president Todd Stokes at 812-232-0048.

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