The Midwest Museum of American Art is pleased to present a new spotlight exhibit featuring the sculptures of Dora Natella.

What does it mean to be a Master? First there are years of training to become more than proficient at the craft of making something be it music, writing, dance, or in this case visual art. From an early age the individual has displayed a natural tendency toward expressing themselves with an unusual tenacity for constant challenge to overcome obstacles and exude a high level of ability for problem solving. Today a career is forged with training, usually at the university level or specific art school, and the results are seen in a finely wrought object that yields an exciting experience for a viewer. This program seeks to acknowledge those individuals who have accomplished high honors in their field. Using the Elkhart Juried Regional as a starting point, the Michiana Masters Series will annually feature standout, award-winning artists, who have consistently proven themselves and their work to be of a high caliber over many years.

The second Michiana Master to be given this honor is Dora Natella, Granger, IN who has taught sculpture at Indiana University-South Bend since 2003. Natella has received three BEST OF SHOW awards in the Elkhart Juried Regional and is the only female artist to have done so in the 40 plus year history of the competition.

Dora Natella was raised and educated in Italy; she studied sculpture in the classical tradition at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples. Later she moved to the United States for advanced studies in bronze casting techniques and for the opportunity to immerse herself in a new culture with fewer direct connections to a classical past. She went on to earn an MFA in sculpture at Western Michigan University, and has continued a practice that includes both teaching at the collegiate level as well as her own work in the studio.

Natella presently serves on the faculty of Indiana University, South Bend. In her work, she maintains an allegiance to a legacy of the figurative tradition from the Renaissance but with openness to contemporary modes of expression.

This exhibit is on display through September 25.

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