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WOSEBAGGER: WHO?SEBAGGER

About Angelica Wisenbarger

Yeah, my last name's actually Wisenbarger. A telemarketer called me one day and really gave my name the old college try, but Wosebagger is how it came out. That was so funny to me that I relayed it to some friends, some of whom were kind enough to keep calling me that. So there's that detail out of the way.

I grew up (if I did at all) in Guernsey county Ohio, in the nowheres abutting the city of Cambridge. Until I was about 7 my family (I am the only child--however, I am several people) lived in a trailer beside my grandparents' house, then moved just down the hill. Cars and horses surrounded me. I played in the junkyards that straddled the back fields, watched my dad run his body shop, drag race, and restore many an old specimen. I hung out in the woods. I read and drew constantly.


In high school I knew I was going to have a tough time deciding what to do. I was into, and good at, the cello, writing, and art. I got into the San Francisco Art Institute and rejected it out of cowardice in favor of nearby Denison University--where I figured I'd get a more 'sensible' degree. Well, that didn't work out--I studied classics there.

I spent much of my late teens and early twenties trying to figure out how to get as far away from Ohio as possible.

Studying ancient Greek and Latin literature was a weird choice I made for weird reasons, but I followed it to its conclusion. I did this for 12 years, getting my MPhil at Cambridge (yeah, the England one) and eventually defending my dissertation at the University of Cincinnati (you see, I failed to get out of Ohio) in October of 2021 and walking away with a PhD. So technically it's Dr Wosebagger, but the only wound I can heal is ignorance of the ablative case. One thing I did pick up in grad school that influences my painting was an appreciation of medieval manuscripts on parchment/vellum and the illuminations of fine books of hours and other richly illustrated works.

While I was at Denison E. "S." Griffith became very important to me, and introduced me to birds I'd never bothered to know about before. I was charmed, but I sat on this for years. In about 2019 I painted him a grouse, then a woodcock ... you see where this is going. I did not want to stop. On one hand, I simply enjoyed painting things for him. On the other, the birds themselves were a joy to paint and learn about, with fantastic textures and visual appeal. And they came with such an interesting cross-section of other enthusiasts. 

Once I started up an instagram, it became pretty clear that the people who love the birds love art involving the birds. I had a round of prints made at Robin Imaging in Cincinnati https://www.robinimaging.com/, and to my great pleasure, people were willing to buy them. It tickles me afresh to this day when people express an interest in owning my art.


I am neither a businessperson nor a business, though, and have been too unwilling to charge the actual cost necessary to make much, if any, profit from my prints or paintings, so I do not sell much anymore. I wish I could give art away to people who like it. But at the moment my husband, a cool papyrologist, is keeping me alive while I work part time digitizing modern Greek journals at UC's classics library, so I can't afford to do squat--and that includes make prints.

Here's a fun fact: a single 18x24 print, a really good one, would cost me about $40 to have printed (if I made a very limited run). To ship it to someone on the west coast, in an 18x24 box packed so that it won't be destroyed, it can cost up to $50. That's $90, not to mention my time involved in going to ship it, in creating the original, materials, etc. And when I sold prints of that size, I sold them for $70, hoping the orders would be as local as possible. Well, you can see how I was digging myself a hole. 

So that's why I no longer sell prints. I can't have them made of the illumination-style pieces anyway, because reproducing gold is basically impossible.

This seems to exhaust both relevant surface-level information about me, and probably also your attention span. If you want to know anything else, you can write me an e-mail or a letter. Thanks for stopping by!

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