MEET THE ARTISTS: JoAnna


JoAnna Darda - Head Shot & Sample Works

I’m JoAnna Darda, the Lead Designer for On the Mark, For the City. Most of my days are spent working, creating, reading, laughing, and resting. My current obsessions are: luxurious yarns, retro-inspired sewing patterns, corny mystery novels, green smoothies,and the color red-orange.

What Does a Lead Designer do?

My role in this project involves examining all of the input, sketches, and inspiration we have acquired as a collective, and synthesizing it all into one big beautiful image. This mural project is unique in that we built the project around a set of ideas and feelings, rather than an initial image. We spoke as a collective about the impression we wanted this mural to make, and continued to collaborate with the staff of the Mark III Taproom. This gave us some great new information to work with, but we also found that we had many overlapping ideas and concerns.

My job is to translate all of this non-visual information into an image that integrates all of the unique voices and styles of the fabulous artists who make up this collective. I also get to design some cool graphics for promotions and presentations. I spent a lot of time bouncing between Photoshop and my big pad of graph paper!

What do you know about art?

Like most creative types, I have been producing visual work for as long as I can remember. I have a B.F.A. from Herron School of Art & Design where I studied interdisciplinary studio practices, as well as art history and sociology. I also spent a year studying textile design and production at Kent State University, where I fell head-over-heels in love with the processes and materials I was working with.

As a life-long student of art, craft, art history, and sociology, I am interested in the intersections between visual culture, cultural production, and social/political constructs. The images and commodities we consume can impact the way we perceive ourselves and our world. They also have an impact on civil rights, international policies and economies, and our environment. As I grow in my art practice, I strive to create work that makes a positive impact in the aforementioned fields.

While I love creating imagery through drawing and painting, I am most passionate about creating beautiful objects that can be used and interacted with on daily basis. Quilting has been a passion of mine for several years, and it brings me joy to imagine someone dreaming and resting every night, wrapped up in one of my creations. Much of my recent studio time has been devoted to dyeing my own fabrics, designing my own prints, and teaching myself to how construct clothing.

So…what do you know about Muncie?

I’m not originally from Muncie, and I have never attended Ball State. Several years ago, I decided I needed a change of scenery, and ended up here through a personal connection. As I began to explore this city, I fell in love with the passionate community I encountered. I am inspired by the businesses, organizations, and individuals who are dedicated to creating opportunities and serving the population here. And I am REALLY excited to collaborate on a public art piece that celebrates this city that I have grown to love.

#WereTryingCollective #MeettheTeam