Originally from Michigan, Donald W. Van Auken has created a world based upon a circus in his head, a grouping of characters that manifest themselves in dreams and continuously appear in thoughts and drawings. These characters are an exultation of whimsy, parody, and beauty. As a child he began to construct a world of cardboard, pencils, action figures, clay and scotch tape. Today, this world is composed of characters that possess a theatrical quality, based on the narrative tradition developed in cartoons and comic books. Van Auken’s work references a stage-like setting where iconography and cartoon imagery substitute for props and actors. However, the stage is intangible and the dialogue is presented to the viewer in a constant state of flux. As an art educator Donald W. Van Auken has taught for two years in public schools, served as the Director of Education at a small Mid western art museum in Battle Creek, Michigan, and as an Assistant Professor in Art at Ohio University where he received his M.F.A. in Painting.
[from In Digest : http://www.indigestmag.com/vanaukenbio.htm ]