This post continues my series “In-Sync with…” aimed to get a closer look at contemporary artists and art professionals from Chicago and abroad. Read it, enjoy it, share it, and get in-sync with artist Kim Guare. Do not miss her personal recommendations at the end of the interview.
Kim Guare is a Chicago artist whom I had the chance to meet during my curatorial work for Chicago’s Twelve at the Zhou B Art Center and then at the Garfield Park Conservatory. From the beginning, Kim came across as a wonderful artist who is sensitive and aware of the environmental issues we currently face. She not only make art that speaks to the awareness of healthy living but she also runs an active blog of everything organic and sustainable. Enjoy!
ABOUT KIM GUARE
Sergio: Where did you go to school (college/university) and what degree you received?
Kim: I attended The American Academy of Art in Chicago and received a BFA with an emphasis in Watercolor in 2011.
Sergio: Do you feel art school prepared you for the art career you have now?
Kim: Art school helped me find my technique but I cannot say it completely prepared me for a career in art. I learned more about the art world from my internship at the Packer Schopf Gallery, the residencies I have done at Columbia College and the Wormfarm Institute, and from the many artists I have been meeting.
Sergio: What is your website?
ABOUT YOUR WORK
Sergio: What are you working on and what inspires you right now?
Kim: Right now I am working on a lot of egg yolk inspired work. I was an artist-in-residence this past summer at the Wormfarm Institute in Reedsburg, Wisconsin and on their farm they had the happiest and most well treated chickens I have ever seen. The chickens on the farm where free to roam all day in the sun, eating all the greenery and bugs they could find. The result was the richest, brightest yolks and the best eggs I have ever eaten. The color of the yolks and there reason for being so beautiful has inspired me.
Sergio: How does a typical day in your studio/creative space look like?
Kim: It usually starts with me making a mess. I enjoy using all types of mediums; fabric, clay, watercolor, paper, wire, so I have to dig through a lot of materials to find what feels right to work with. I think of my studio as the “The Barney Bag” for all those Barney fans out there! I love finding new ways to mix the different mediums.
Sergio: Describe your creative process.
Kim: A piece usually starts with me finding out something new about food whether it be positive like the benefits of eating seasonally or something frightening like Monsanto planting their genetically modified corn in Mexico. I do many sketches to figure out how to best convey the facts I find in a visual way.
The actual making of a new piece is always different because I approach each one with new mediums or a different of way of using a medium. I love problem solving and creating something brand new each time.
Sergio: What type of mental/practical activities do you do when facing a creative block?
Kim: I will often do some small watercolors and educate myself on current food issues through documentaries and books. I also cook a lot because cooking is very much a part of my artwork. I have been learning to can. In the summer I work on an organic farm. Digging in the dirt, harvesting, weeding and conversing with the awesome farmers gets me really excited to make some artwork. I always learn something new on the farm.
Sergio: Do you find social media to be a distraction or an asset for you as an artist and how do you deal with it?
Kim: I would say a distraction and an asset. It is hard not getting trapped in the online vortex of checking my twitter, tumblr, facebook, blogspot, email, repeat, but it keeps me connected to the online art world. I keep the majority of my social media for my artwork only because I think it is one of the best ways to get my artwork out to the world.
Sergio: How much does the art market influences your art production/output?
Kim: Not at all. I make artwork that I want to see and hope that others will enjoy it. With each piece I make I am working towards finding a way to create a message that is easy to recognize for the viewer and that has some sort of impact. That is all I am ever concerned with.
Sergio: What’s next for you?
Kim: My artwork will be on display at the Wrightwood Ashburn Chicago Public Library in March 2013 for Woman’s Artist Month. I also have some fiber work in a window display at Roman Susan’s art space in Rogers Park. Currently, I am interested in making a children’s book with fiber illustrations about collecting eggs from the chickens each morning when I was in Wisconsin. I also hope to be returning to the Wormfarm Institute this spring as the Residency Manager.
Book… Harry Potter…What can I say? I grew up with Harry!
Art movie or documentary… Drawing the Line: A Portrait of Keith Haring
Art museum… National Museum of Mexican art
Contemporary artist (other than yourself)… Molly Costello, Cathi Schwalbe, Danny Mansmith
Place to be inspired by… organic farm
Chicago cafe/restaurant… Ras Dashen in Edgewater, the best vegan Ethiopian food ever.
YouTube video… Kung Fu Rooster and Black Cat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obQIdffSQUk