Nature as Spirit

Minda Douglas's exhibit, Nature as Spirit, will open in the Speck Gallery this Friday night, March 3 from 6-10pm. During a sabbatical in the fall of 2015, the artist traveled to Yellowstone National Park, Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore where she found inspiration in many different ways. In her Ghost Pine Series, in the misty silhouettes of pines against the sky and the reflection in the still water, you can see the heavy influence of her time in Isle Royale.

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“The Dunes National Lakeshore was like a repository of different ecosystems with the processes of decomposition, erosion, and succession set up like a textbook. I was fascinated by the dune plants and inland swamps. The cycles of growth and decay were steps away from one another.” Douglas said.

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During her sabbatical, she also spent a significant amount of time exploring the White River. She explained that it was the ground in Yellowstone National Park that drew her to a stronger focus on the river. She saw Yellowstone alive and changing every second in time-the way the earth moves, bubbles, flows and sprays. Her many visits to the White River gave her the opportunity to see the surreal beauty of the river in different light and weather conditions, too. Minda felt an unexplainable spiritual presence during her excursions and brought that theme out in her work.


“Throughout human history, nature has often been equated with the spiritual. The concept of nature as spirit touches many religions and philosophies. This body of artwork attempts to symbolize the power, complexity, mystery, and beauty found in the natural world and ecological systems. Succession, decomposition, and erosion are points of departure, and the constant flux and cycles found in nature are celebrated.”

Douglas grew up in Michigan and attended Wayne State University where she received her BFA and Louisiana State University for her MFA, specializing in printmaking. Minda now lives in Noblesville and is a professor at Indiana University of Kokomo.