Diane Ponder is a painter, photographer and bohemian trail-blazer. She spent her Childhood in the country swimming in the river and reading in trees, then left home during high school and lived with a bunch of artists, theatrical organizers and motorcycle mechanics. She lived in Saudi Arabia for a time, and was only woman artists at the first abstract art show in the town of Jeddah. Closer to home, her artwork has graced Navy Pier, Grant Park, the Chicago Cultural Center and Myriad other venues throughout the city. Her work on an art series benefiting Sarah’s Inn, a women’s shelter in Oak Park, was featured in a PBA documentary. Currently she works in the Cornelia Arts Building. She has completed the Center Program and the Visual Arts Program, a joint partnership with Hyde Park Art Center and the University of Chicago. Time to time one can sense the sentiment of her study, Art History, Anthropology, and Linguistics at University of Chicago.
Among her numerous series of art, her participating paintings incorporates various types of salt, to stunning effect. But there’s more to the medium than meets the eye. She lost a loved one two years ago, and the salt symbolizes various aspects of that loss: the salty tears of grief, the ability of salt to relieve out pain, the minerals in salt that are essential to our well-being.