Evansville’s Amy Musia may be one of the most prolific artists in the United States. Producing art in the widest spectrum of media, she says it is her personal approach to her craft that requires diversity. “I believe selecting the correct medium, whether metal, wood, watercolor, or whatever, is important to the essence of the piece to keep it ‘living’ once it is complete,” she says. “Also, when I do not restrict myself to one medium, there are no limitations to what I can create.”
Growing up on a farm outside the tiny town of Marfa, Texas, Musia always believed in her ability to achieve her goals. This characteristic serves her when working with new art materials. “I like being able to stretch those creative, problem-solving muscles,” she says. “I have the confidence in my ability to be able to get the product I want.”
The 62-year-old is best known in Evansville for her outdoor, 175th celebration of the city sculpture “Bend in the River,” located on the riverfront along the Pigeon Creek Greenway. Meanwhile, her watercolors of lilies convey the sense that you could pick a flower out of the scene and wet your finger in the water. A series of 18 1/2- by-20 foot colorful, woven wall installations brings a sense of vitality to patients at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis. Her photographs of nature are National Geographic magazine caliber. And “Story Tools,” a pristine white, 8-by-3 1/2 foot wooden column with 24-karat gold and pure silver gilding for the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, is topped with a sculpted montage representing the differentiating ways stories can be told.
Musia’s artistic talent surfaced as a head cheerleader in high school designing and painting banners for football games. Her brother contrived her a gift of pastels she used to replicate lithographs in natural history books, and the drawings garnered interest from Fab-Knit in Waco, Texas. That earned her an art director position for the company, which produced professional football logos and designs.
The support of two McLennan Community College art instructors helped secure her a full scholarship from the prestigious Pratt Art Institute in New York City, but since her parents wanted her to remain nearby in Texas, the up-and-coming artist enrolled at the University of North Texas State in Denton. There, she majored in sculpture with a minor in plastics and bronze technology. She paid tuition by designing for Paul Osborne and Associates, a firm that makes life-size puppets for theme parks and theater backdrops out of Dallas. “That is where I learned I could adapt my skills to any medium,” she says. “I stayed there several years after graduating.”
In 1980, she followed a friend to Evansville, where she opened Musia Fine Art Studios on the West Side at 5625 Pearl Drive. Now, she creates art out of her home on an 18-acre lake.
Musia believes she can always “go farther and be better. Bring the idea or problem to me, and I will solve it with art.”
Recently, a friend, knowing her love of nature, gave her a rack of deer antlers. Before long, she had sawed off and polished a tip, hollowed out the core and cut a notch to make a dog whistle. “I think I will carve a scrimshaw scene into it and create a piece of functional art,” she says, studying the prototype. “As whistles, they would make memorable, one-of-a-kind gifts.”
Musia attributes part of her success to how intensely she studies the background for each project. “I love to learn as much as I can about the reason a piece of art was commissioned,” she says. “And knowing where it will be displayed helps me tie it all together.”
For information on Amy Musia’s commissioned work, call her at 812-985-7523 or visit amymusia.com.