Artist Profile: Dana Dempsey

Fine Art major brings art to life at school and at home

By Sharon Bell
Photo by Glenn Judah

PHOTO CAPTION: Dana Dempsey works on her next work at her home.

Walking past the house on the corner of Riberia and Carrera Streets, one could immediately surmise that its residents are probably not typical college students. On the upstairs porch hangs a prominent wire sculpture entangled with beads and other miscellaneous objects. The windows and front door are covered in multi-colored tissue paper and even the inside walls are bright purple and yellow.

Dana Dempsey, the resident artist of this unique abode, left the University of North Florida a year ago to pursue a degree in fine art at Flagler College.

“I just love the openness and kindness toward art in St. Augustine. It has a sense of community and a more positive energy than Jacksonville,” Dempsey said.

Her original intent was to obtain an art education degree, but after taking some required courses, she concluded that the education department was too confining for her.

“I never realized how much of a creative mind set I have,” Dempsey said. “The passion for everyday life is much more evident when you do what you enjoy.”

Now, after three more semesters at Flagler, Dana Dempsey will have a degree in fine arts with a minor in psychology. She hopes to someday work in the evolving field of art therapy.

Inspired by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Alexander Calder and Thomas Hartbenton, Dempsey’s favorite type of art is mixed media, in which artists use diverse methods and textures to create a piece of work. The sculpture that is displayed outside of her home is a variation of this. Entitled “Dripping impatience,” the piece was inspired by the pattern of raindrops on a boring, drizzly day.

Her favorite piece that she has created while at Flagler consists of a series of abstractions in which she captures the history and struggles in Lincolnville.

Currently, Dempsey is working on a contemporary art piece for Art History IV. She she is reluctant to reveal any details, but she promises that it will be big.

Even her roommates are excited to see what Dempsey’s next venture will be.

“Living with an artist definitely increases the creative flow of the house as a whole,” roommate Shannon Muroski said. “I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.”

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