From the woods to the Mill: Artist Andrea Dezso takes up residence at art center

  • Andrea Dezso is the 2019 artist in residence at the Donkey Mill Art Center. (Nash Baker/Courtesy Photo)
  • "The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm" illustrated by Andrea Dezso. (Donkey Mill Art Center/Courtesy Photo)
  • Andrea Dezso is the 2019 artist in residence at the Donkey Mill Art Center. (Donkey Mill Art Center/Courtesy Photo)
  • Light boxes by Andrea Dezso, the 2019 artist in residence at the Donkey Mill Art Center. (Donkey Mill Art Center/Courtesy Photo)
  • Andrea Dezso is the 2019 artist in residence at the Donkey Mill Art Center. (Nash Baker/Courtesy Photo)

HOLUALOA — Andrea Dezso is happy to be out of her wintry Amherst, Massachusetts, home to work in the sunshine in Hawaii.

The artist is currently working out of the Donkey Mill Art Center as the Mill’s 2019 artist in residence. For the past three weeks, Dezso has been creating her drawings, paintings, animation and many other mediums on the island, a welcome change from her studio at home.

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“I always have studios where I live, and we live by the edge of the woods in western Massachusetts. The studio’s not very large, and two of its walls are made of glass and I can see foxes and animals walk by,” Dezso said. “What I really appreciate here is the windows can be opened in the winter and you don’t have to have walls and there is this view of the ocean. And it just seems unreal.

“It feels like you can have a much more unguarded life here.”

What Dezso’s temporary studio in Holualoa and her studio in Massachusetts do have in common is their direct access to nature, which is Dezso’s main inspiration. For now, Dezso is enjoying nature on the Big Island. The artist is a frequent visitor, and now that she is staying to work for a few weeks, she has fallen in love with the beauty of the island.

“Everything here is just beautiful and amazing. The colors especially,” Dezso said. “I’m thinking a lot about the colors now. The colors in the sky and the colors that change right in front of your eyes so quickly, so that’s mainly what interests me now.”

Her natured-inspired art can be found all over the United States, from museums to subway stations to bookstores. She has two mosaics permanently installed in subway stations in New York City, at the Bedford Park Blvd.-Lehman College station in the Bronx and the New Utrecht Avenue-62nd Street station in Brooklyn. In 2014, Dezso illustrated an edition of “The Original Folk &Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm,” published by Princeton University Press.

During her residency, Dezso has been teaching art workshops at the Donkey Mill. A workshop for both adults and children on how to create pop-up cards and books will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Mill. Working with children and fostering their love of art is an important mission for Dezso.

“I really like working with young people,” Dezso said. “Building a life around making art, around other people who make art and a community that is made of artists and supports artists, it feels like a fulfilling and very good life.”

Dezso said her career as an artist started as a child, when she started painting and drawing and never stopped. What she loves about being an artist for a living is the many places her art takes her, like Hawaii.

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“There’s so many things about being an artist that work really well for me,” Dezso said. “Just my personality and how I like to live my life. The freedom in it, the adventure, experimentation and trying things and either managing to pull them off or not.”

Info: To sign up for a workshop with Andrea Dezso at the Donkey Mill Art Center or meet the artist, contact the Donkey Mill at 322-3362 or visit donkeymillartcenter.org.