Elephants walk through downtown art gallery

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published:

Hudson -- Visitors may notice elephant footprints on the floor of the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation Gallery, 10 W. Streetsboro St.

The new exhibit, "In Dreams" is the way children look at art, said Hudson resident, Mindy Soulsby, a graphic designer and illustrator who mixes her artistic passion with business sense.

"They see beautiful colors and fun animals," she said.

Whether it's an elephant squirting water or elephant footprints across the floor, the artwork focus is on fun.

"Children enjoy how they look," Soulsby said. "It's art for enjoyment."

Her artwork featuring elephants, giraffes and other creatures is on display through March 26 at the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation Gallery from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free.

The "In Dreams" exhibit features 17 works of art, ranging from small marker drawings to complete wall art of water squirting elephants or animated ABCs.

Soulsby grew up in Cuyahoga Falls and received a bachelor's degree in visual communication design from Kent State University. She is marketing coordinator for Arborwear and co-owner of Mentor Signs & Graphics.

"I've wanted to be an artist since I was 4 years old," Soulsby said. "Illustration had taken a back seat because you have to make a living."

She is working on her first illustrated children's book, which her husband, Dan, wrote. Her daughters, Zoey, 3, and Ava, 3 months, inspire her to capture a child's viewpoint -- pure, imaginative, free from intense ideas or subjective descriptions.

"When Zoey was born, I wanted to do something [artistic] for her," Soulsby said. "I know my responsibilities, but I realized I have to do this for myself and for my kids."

Her artwork is a collection of illustrations in watercolor, pencil, marker and digital media. Soulsby uses bright colors, simple renderings and fun concepts to create stimulating images inspired by and for children of all ages.

Soulsby is a traditional studio artists and draws everything first, she said. She does color studies and then renders it in color pencil and watercolors. She's expanded her artwork to digital graphic design out of necessity and interest.

All her art work can be digitally rendered and produced on vinyl, which can be placed and removed from walls and floors or on stretched canvas in small, medium and large sizes.

"It's easy to decorate a child's room," Soulsby said. "It's so flexible. You can use anything seen in the exhibit. I can recreate it in computer art."

Soulsby said her childhood experiences and her grandfather, a commercial artist, influenced her artwork. In turn, she is mentoring her nephew, Joseph, 14, in his art interest and would like to teach art to kids.

She advises anyone interested in art to attend a good art school and try all mediums.

"Draw constantly," she says to artists. "If it's your passion, do it."

Soulsby's brochures and business cards are available at the exhibit or email her at mindy@mentorsigns.com.

The next exhibit will begin April 3 through May 28 and feature Jan Noden and Karen Koch in an exhibit, "An Exploration of Portals."

For more information on the gallery, call 330-655-1366 or email inquiry@mcmfdn.org.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

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