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New exhibit open in David Owsley Museum of Art

MUNCIE, Ind.---Ball State University opened a new art exhibit in the David Owsley Museum of Art.

The opening event was made possible by Ball State University’s Alive Series, presented by the College of Fine Arts.

The exhibit displays the works of Debbie Ma, an abstract artist originally from the Philippines, who now calls New York City her home.

Ball State is honored to host Ma’s first public exhibit. On display are many works featuring her signature medium: marble dust on canvas. This style of art highlights a variety of textures combined with abstract color and line design.

The connection between Ball State University and Debbie may seem a bit detached. However, the ties between the feature artist and our wonderful campus go back many years.

When Ma hosted her first ever exhibit in the Hamptons in 2004, a descendant of the Ball Family and benefactor of the Museum of Art, David Owsley, was in attendance. He called the number available and said, “I want the one on the back wall”. The one on the back wall turned out to be ‘Ouarzazate’ which can be found hanging the exhibit today.

After getting the chance to speak to Debbie, a higher level of understanding for her work was attained.

Originally a graphic designer for brands such as Maybelline, Ralph Lauren and Revlon, Ma grew old of expressing herself through work made on a computer.

“I wanted to change from a 1-dimensional form of art to a 3-dimensional,” said Ma.

She found her signature style through inspiration from the late Spanish artist Antoni Tàpies.

“I visited Barcelona, and took classes in his workshop,” said Ma.

Ma would end up bringing boat loads of marble dust home to the states using the material to form a catalog of wonderful works.

After years of honing her craft, one might wonder how an artist knows when a piece is complete.

“The painting tells you when to stop. You work continuously on a piece for weeks even months, then one day you can put another brushstroke on it,”

The exhibit is on display until Dec. 21 .

Contact Luke Barnes with comments at luke.barnes@bsu.edu