By Denise DePaolo

Donna O’Dea’s home is full of art. The canvases that dominate her wall space show images of war, poverty, archetypal figures, deities, and reflections on the general human condition.

“What I don’t do is flowers and houses,” she said, when asked to describe her work. “It’s more emotive than decorative. One day I’ll paint flowers, just not yet.”

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The works and their subject matter are deeply personal to O’Dea (arguably eastern South Dakota’s most notable psychic medium), because she has worked tirelessly, compelled by her own desire to create and channel what only she can see. The body of work is impressive for any artist, but particularly exceptional when one learns that 79-year-old O’Dea only began painting in earnest just a couple years ago, when a medical condition forced to her stay inside.

“I always wanted to paint,” she said. “When my kids were little, I’d do a painting or two. Then my husband would say, ‘What’s that good for?’ At that time I kind of believed him, but I don’t anymore. Creativity, creation – I believe it changes the whole universe.”

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Eastbank Gallery at 8th & Railroad Center will display O’Dea’s work through March 28. To read the full article, pick up the March issue of 605 Magazine or click here.

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