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Mildred Young Olmes (AKAMildred Arminta Young Olmes)

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Mildred Young Olmes

American, (1906–1994)
Mildred Olmes was a muralist, painter, graphic artist, and illustrator born in Oil City, PA. Olmes resided in West Chester, Pennsylvania and Canton, Ohio. She studied at the Carnegie Institute (now Carnegie Mellon University), Tyler School of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and the Royal University for Foreigners in Perugia, Italy. Her murals can be found in the YMCA of West Chester, Toledo, Ohio Airport, and the Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio. Little else is known about her, including the whereabouts of many of her works.

Her husband, Hugh Olmes, worked as the Art Supervisor for Colestock High School in Titusville, Pennsylvania and as Director of the Canton Art Institute.

Madonna of the Mines is a powerful image of mother and child. The figures are conceived as one element with the mother's powerful arms and large, callused working hands cradling the child. She is bent in both hardship and in the protection of her child but the dignity of her bearing is also unmistakable. Behind the figures, the shapes of company houses march up the hillside in monotonous repetition revealing the anonymity of the workers lives. The church perched precariously on a carved out hillside near the strip mines is a stubborn symbol of the strong religious nature of the immigrants who came to work in the mines. It is a raw and touching image and suggests the talents of a strong artist in its making.

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