Symbolic & Surreal: A Local Artist’s Latest Collection Lets Imagination Soar
“Slow down everyone, you’re moving too fast, frames can’t catch you when you are moving so fast”, Jack Johnson sings in his song Inaudible Melodies. With her latest collection, artist Kathleen Zimmerman also hopes to inspire people to take the time to appreciate the “amazing” world we live in: a world surrounded by beauty.
“I hope (attendees) get a sense of the joy that I get out of life and how art is a vital tool in helping humanity relate to the world,” Zimmerman wrote Patch by email.
“Symbolic & Surreal”, an exhibition of Zimmerman’s limited edition digital prints created from her original graphite drawings, is now on display at the Farmington Valley Art Center. The works in her show deal with concepts like religion, space and family. For Zimmerman, the creative process starts with an idea she wants to explore. For example, her “Space Series" was inspired by an interest in scientific theories and knowledge about the planets and the universe.
“As an artist, I find creating a work of art helps me take the time to really think an idea through,” Zimmerman wrote. “Creating for me is an intense type of meditation that leads to understanding.”
Since she was a young girl, Zimmerman has always felt the need to create. As she progressed through school, she won a number of art contests, received high marks in her art classes and was ultimately awarded with art scholarships, making it possible for her to earn a fine arts degree in studio arts. Although she primarily worked with cast bronze sculpture at the beginning of her career, she developed an interest in the “intimate nature” of drawing while attending the University of Hartford’s Art School. Zimmerman and her husband reside in Beijing, China, due to a professional opportunity. They eventually plan to return to their home base in Willington, Connecticut but in the meantime, Zimmerman has set up a studio in China so she can continue to create art. She travels back to the U.S. periodically to participate in shows.
The intuitive and ever-evolving artist said her exhibition at FVAC reflects a more “mature state of artistic development”. But despite the maturity of her subject matter, her work still resonates with people of all ages. Throughout the summer, Zimmerman’s drawings have been a source of inspiration to the children participating in FVAC’s youth programming.
“It’s been really nice to bring the kids in to look at the work...The illustrative equality of the pieces are really easy to identify through children’s eyes.” said Jim Brunelle, the center’s project coordinator.
Article by Colleen Finnegan for the Avon Patch
Note: Kathleen's solo exhibition ran throughout the summer.