Statement & Bio

Short Biography:

Trained as a metalsmith, Kim creates works that utilize the history, making, and meaning of objects of utility and ornamentation. She has applied her use of steel, structure and ornament in large-scale public art projects and commissions for public spaces. Kim was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, earned an MFA in Metals from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and studied at Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting. Kim has taught in art programs across the country including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Michigan, San Diego State University, Arizona State University, and the Penland School of Crafts.

Awards include Visual Arts Fellowships from the Wisconsin Arts Board and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Her work is featured in public collections including the Arizona State University Art Museum, the Arkansas Art Center Decorative Museum of Art, the California State University Long Beach Art Museum, the Chazen Art Museum, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, the Racine Art Museum, the Scottsdale Contemporary Museum of Art, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Artists Statement:

My practice is inspired by the patterns of nature and the way objects can record and extend our lives. Growing up in rural Michigan, I developed a sense of belonging not through photographs, but through objects, both utilitarian and decorative. My work and research is rooted in the belief that the forms, processes, and materials that give flesh to objects of utility and ornament are rich with content the tension between structure and decoration, the intellectual and the physical, the cognitive and emotive. My work, based on familiar forms like trees and vessels, argues for the pleasure found in beauty, skilled making, and the power of material and form. Using a process that is accumulative and direct, joining small parts together into a larger body, I hope to create a sense of movement within still objects through areas of density and delicacy. Within this structured movement there resides the potential for instability as growth comes from change.

Several years ago I began a habit of drawing the living things from gardens and fields around my home. Making a drawing a day kept me engaged in careful looking, gave time and space for a contemplative task, and sharpened my consideration of patterns in even the most ordinary life forms. This drawing practice came to fruition in my current body of work, Field Studies. Through intensive labor and sensual materials, these landscape tableaus have a complexity of form that alludes to cycles of growth and transformation. In Field Study: Thicket, a gray catbird is tethered within a shrub by a golden cord. The work alludes to containment or concealment; however, the outcome of this narrative is open to speculation. Other works embody a sense of narrative or contingency like Field Study: Bur Oak with a large oak branch lying over an overturned vessel, Field Study: Felled Mulberry presenting a stump that has engendered new growth, and Field Study: Rack where bone generates life. These works serve as a reminder of our own place in the natural world; no matter how carefully we construct and manage our daily experiences, life will not leave us alone or untouched by change.