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Oranje artist profile: Pam Wishbow

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Work by Pam Wishbow is on view at Oranje on Saturday night.
  • Work by Pam Wishbow is on view at Oranje on Saturday night.

Editor's note: We consider Oranje, celebrating its tenth year, one of the premier arts events of the year, and for us it is an opportunity to get acquainted with a lot of visual artists. Here's a sampling of the kind of art you'll see this year at Oranje, which features almost 40 artists. Say hello to Pam Wishbow. (And say hello to other featured Oranje artists here.)

You may have seen Pam Wishbow's painting "Toys" at last year's eponymous show in Indy's Gallery 924. With its clean lines and simplified forms, it might've spurred you to recall recent TV series and movies that evoke the early 1960s era. (It might've also made you recall that decade, if you're old enough).

This is because Wishbow, who'll have a booth at this year's Oranje, draws inspiration from a design style known as Mid-Century Modern for her prints and paintings.

But that doesn't necessarily limit her choice of subject matter. One of her more recent print illustrations, visible on her website, is of "a rad Roman dude" known as Brutus (actually, it's a portrait of Brutus' head on a pedestal). Other prints include a portrayal of two hip chicks playing a fretless double-necked bass and an illustration of an LP record she created for the cover of Chicago's New City Weekly.

A number of people have asked Wishbow if she watches Mad Men, a television series on AMC that evokes the Mid-Century Modern aesthetic.

"I still haven't watched it," she says. "It's on my queue for Netflix now, though."

Wishbow, who graduated from the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2009, now lives in West Lafayette and volunteers in the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.

Pam Wishbow
  • Pam Wishbow

Although Wishbow evokes the style of a bygone era in her art, the substance is playful and humorous in a way that feels oddly contemporary. (One of her prints features the illustration of a certain artist hunched over a drafting table in utter frustration.) And she uses contemporary tools like Adobe Illustrator to design her prints. She also paints — with a combination of oil and gouache.

"At Oranje, I'm bringing a ton of new paintings I don't currently have up anywhere," she says. "It's kind of a premiere of them."

"I'm excited about Oranje because I love the fact that I get to see other people's work," says Wishbow. "Outside of that, I'm more enthusiastic about seeing how all of the artists solve the problem that is the booth. We're presented with a pretty large space, many of us with no walls. It's amazing to see all the different solutions people come up with when given the same challenge."

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