St. Angela Merici, Foundress of the Ursuline Sisters, once said, “Do something, get moving, be con- fident, risk new things, stick with it, then be ready for big surprises.” St. Angela Merici was a woman ahead of her time and her progressive vision is exemplified every day on Ursuline College’s campus. One woman who embodies this boldness is Anna Arnold, Director of Florence O’Donnell Wasmer Gallery.
Since the age of five, Arnold has considered herself an artist. “There was never an issue with identity. I knew I wanted to be an artist,” says Anna. Encouraged all through her life to be an artist by family and teachers, coupled with her own talent, persistence and stubbornness, Anna found her way from artist to teacher to gallery director.
Arnold took on the role of gallery directory in February of 2013, but has already made strides to improve the gallery. The physical space has been transformed, including new texture on the walls and lighting. Her next goal is to eventually welcome national artists to show in the gallery. She hopes to see the Wasmer Gallery grow from regional to national to international. We sat down with Arnold to get an artist’s perspective on life, love and of course, art!
How do you define happiness?
Happiness to me is a feeling of inner peace. A feeling of being who you are and being OK with that.
Which living person do you admire the most?
My mother, Gloria Arnold. She has been so sup- portive of me at every stage in my life. She’s still there – still supporting me, still pushing me.
What is your current state of mind?
Blissful. A feeling of knowing that where I am is the perfect place for me.
Which words or phrases do you overuse?
Excellent. And, wow.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Art. That’s it.
Which talent would you like to have the most (other than being an artist)?
I wish I could be an engineer. I love robotics but I just love looking.
What do you feel is your greatest achievement?
Working with the Cleveland Museum of Art community mural project a few years back. It was great that people could trust me with that.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be?
I’d come back as me.
Where would you most like to live (other than Cleveland)?
Italy. In a castle.
What is your favorite occupation?
Gallery director. And, artist.
Who are your favorite artists?
Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Faith Ringgold.
Who are your heroes?
Family – my mother, father and sister.
What is your greatest hope?
That people can have an inner peace with who they are; true joy for the person that they are.