Dark Matter, Dark Energy
Born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1953 she moved with her family to Daytona Beach, Florida a few years later at the age of 2. Athletic with a love for the outdoors as a child and young adult she explored the wide open wild and rugged Florida landscape under blue skies or in rain which influences her art today. Always known as “the artist” in grade school, Hodge looked seriously to the making of art as a means of personal self-expression in high school and later at Daytona State College where she attended with an art scholarship from the Daytona Beach Art League and eventually at the University of Florida where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Fine Arts. Later, Hodge studied at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach before winning a 2005 Florida Arts Council Enhancement Grant as well as a number of additional awards and commendations from organizations throughout the State of Florida.
Hodge has exhibited her work selectively with recent solo exhibitions at the Museum of Florida Arts and Culture at South Florida State College, Avon Park, FL; the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts at St. Johns River State College, Orange Park, FL; the Rao Musunuru, M.D. Art Gallery at Pasco-Hernando State College, New Port Richey, FL; the Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College, Niceville, FL; the Gene Prough Center for the Arts at Chipola State College, Marianna, FL; and The New Journal Center for the Arts at Daytona State College, Daytona Beach, FL; the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach, FL; and the Karpeles Manuscript Museum, Jacksonville.
In 2014 she unveiled a new group of paintings with a “cosmic “ theme. A casual glance at the titles of her recent work and a close look at the work itself suggests that Hodge has dramatically expanded her aesthetic vision beyond the sense of earth-bound considerations which occupied her earlier work. Now Hodge seems to look up and deeply into the night sky as a source of inspiration, especially since the phenomenal discoveries and deep-space images from the Hubble and other more advanced space telescopes which are looking into the worlds of dark matter and dark energy. These explorations redefine and help to explain our expanding and simultaneously collapsing universe. But Hodge is not merely illustrating these phenomena in a scientific way. Rather she is remystifying our universe in a series of large, complex and colorful paintings that suggest large ideas about our concepts of human visual perception and the workings of the outer universe.
The qualities of light in a dynamic cosmos, the existence of supernovas, the qualities of dark stars, dark matter, dark energy, baryonic clouds of matter and ideas about anti-matter all seem to find a place in Hodge’s richly painted visions of a beautiful and powerful apocalypse on the heels of contemporary sciences early penetration into the mysteries of creation and destruction in our universe. In many ways Hodge’s new work artistically begins to bridge important elements of this new science with the eternal beauty and mystery of the Heavens.
~ Gary R. Libby — Director Emeritus, Museum of Arts & Sciences ~