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Burkholder's work featured at Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center


(Talk of the Town photo provided)

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A lifelong resident of Whitley County, Rachel Burkholder is the featured artist for May at the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center as part of the Chamber's 2018 Focus on the Arts series.

Burkholder's collection features photography, calligraphy and creative multimedia pieces using found objects.

"I've always loved taking pictures. I'm not a professional, but I have a deep appreciation for noticing things and seeing things differently. With so many advancements and increased accessibility to technology, I've had the opportunity to share my 'Noticings' with those around me," Burkholder said. "I've also been a life-long doodler. Constantly drawing in the margins of my notebooks. Merging my love of lettering it modern calligraphy was a natural transition. I keep pushing myself to grow in all aspects of art, so I've recently been creating pieces based off of my own thoughts and words."

Burkholder is self-taught for the most part and explorative in her work.

"I haven't taken any formal photography classes, but my philosophy is that if I don't know the rules, then I won't know when I'm breaking them," she said.

"As far as my calligraphy, I did have the opportunity to attend two Modern Calligraphy workshops in Indianapolis. I've since taken what I learned and continue to practice and grow that skillset," adds Burkholder.

With the many advancements in technology, the camera in Burkholder's cell phone a great asset and always at the ready.

"For the bulk of my photography, I actually use my cell phone. I've always had a Samsung Galaxy of some sort, but recently transitioned to a Samsung Note," she said. "I don't always think the art is about the tools. It's about the ability to capture and convey the emotions that you are feeling when you see or notice something. As far as my calligraphy, I use several different tools. I've created pieces using watercolors and paint brushes, brush-tip markers, and most of my pieces on display were created using a traditional calligraphy stylus and nib."

Looking around the room, Burkholder's photography is as eye catching as her other multimedia pieces.  "My photography pieces are all relatively recent, mainly because I'm constantly capturing new things. My pen and ink pieces are also from within the last six months. I recently went through a career change and I've discovered a new voice that I was suppressing for far too long," she said.

While she enjoys the creative process, it's the self-expression that means the most to her.

"Possibly, my most favorite component, are the stories and emotions I'm able to convey through my pieces," said Burkholder. "I try and share what they mean to me, but I hope they also evoke different and personal feelings and emotions in those that see them."

"I started making art as a form of expression -- a way to share all of the thoughts and ideas that didn't have meaning or direction," she continued. "What I might not be able to express with words, maybe I can capture an image that does."

Explaining where she wants to take her art in the future is a tough consideration for Burkholder.

"Direction. That's a tough one. I've found ways to weave creativity into my life in all aspects...even my day job. But there are still pieces that don't quite fit," she said. "I'm always exploring. Always curious. Always looking for outlets of expression that will help me give life to the stories I have rolling around in my head. Always looking for ways to help others better understand me and thereby, hopefully, themselves."

Burkholder's exhibit will be on display weekdays at the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center through the end of May. The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center is located at 128 West Van Buren Street in Columbia City.



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