By Kayla Nakeeb
The Hoosier Salon Gallery in downtown Carmel was full of visitors Aug. 28 eager to catch a glimpse of a one-night, one-man show featuring the art and life of Don Finch.
Finch, 62, is terminally ill with two large tumors on his liver, and chemo and radiation are not an option. He resident had no choice but to accept his circumstances and delve into his family and his artwork, the two things he loves most.
The former Marine paints and draws to keep busy, even when the pain makes it difficult to stand.
“It’s better than sitting on the couch and vegging out,” Finch said.
Andy Chapman, a friend of Finch, was blown away by the artist’s latest exotic animal inspired pieces and partnered with the Hoosier Salon to organize the show, allowing Finch to cross an item off his bucket list.
A matte company framed and matted many of the pieces for free. The wall space available was only enough to hold 37 exotic textured lions, airbrushed primates, breathtaking landscapes, and charcoal and pastel nudes—even though Finch has created many other pieces of art.
Finch has created all of his life, working with billboards, murals and album covers, just to name a few. He began studying at the Herron School of Art. Two years in, burned out from working 40 hours a week to support his passion, Finch took a break and joined the Marine Corps. Even at that time, he was creating artwork, but not as much as he is in his newfound retirement. Now, his basement studio serves as a “plenty big space” to work on his art.
Hoosier Salon gallery manager Rich Anderson said that Finch and his artwork serve as a reminder of life’s fragility.
“Every breath that you take is closer to the end, a reminder for us to live life,” Anderson said.