Topics: Arts and Culture, College of Fine Arts, Muncie, Speakers

September 19, 2023

Debbie Ma, American (born 1957), Social Fabric, 2019, marble dust on canvas, 72 x 90 in. © Debbie Ma
Debbie Ma, American (born 1957), Social Fabric, 2019, marble dust on canvas, 72 x 90 in. © Debbie Ma

The David Owsley Museum of Art (DOMA) at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., will display a selection of paintings by New York artist Debbie Ma from Sept. 28 through Dec. 21, 2023.

DOMA is open to the public 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Saturdays. There is no admission fee. The exhibition and related events are part of Ball State’s Arts Alive Series, presented by the University’s College of Fine Arts.

The exhibition features more than 50 paintings on canvas and paper informed by Ma’s studies in graphic design, fascination with grids and surfaces, and influences from Italian frescoes to American Minimalists and topography. The abstract works often display an imaginative use of black and white or muted tones over marble dust, the artist’s signature material that creates sculptural effects on a canvas support.

As noted by art critic and curator Barbara A. MacAdam, Ma speaks several languages and filters these into her work, which is both varied and consistent. Her images incorporate Cy Twombly-like marks and calligraphic jottings, as well as Jackson Pollock-evoking gestures and layering. The show provides endless opportunities for study and eye-opening visits for Ball State’s diverse community and residents across East Central Indiana.

“I invite everyone to discover Debbie Ma’s mesmerizing works, which were first pointed out to me by the museum’s namesake benefactor,” Robert G. La France, director of the David Owsley Museum of Art, said. “A man of few words and a decisive collector of action, David T. Owsley instinctively responded to the perfect arrangement of shapes and complex interactions between visual elements in Ma’s marble dust paintings. I think that our visitors will, too.”

Visit DOMA’s website for more information and details on related programs and events, including a free public talk by featured artist Debbie Ma, who will speak about her work, inspirations, and art as a vehicle for mindfulness and introspection at the museum at 6 p.m. on Oct. 12, 2023. A 5 p.m. public reception precedes the talk.