You'd expect the artists in Paper: A Group Exhibition at the Gallery at the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) to have formal training in fine art, but formal training in the circus? Kit Keith, one of 14 artists in the exhibition, possesses exactly that. When she was three, Keith's family moved to Sarasota where the Ringling Brothers happened to have their winter headquarters. She joined the circus school and learned trapeze from the Great Wallendas.
At 18, when Keith graduated from the school, she moved to St. Louis and studied painting and drawing. Athletics and art were two things at which Keith excelled as a child and young adult. Now that she satisfied her desire to be an athlete, she turned to the next exciting chapter of her life: becoming an artist. Her varied artistic influences include outsider art, old advertisements, and pop art.
Paper is a landmark event for these artists who have never exhibited together, and many are displaying new work for the first time.
Curator Ahzad Bogosian explains, "Although the show is titled Paper, it actually explores the qualities of different media on paper."
A native St. Louisan, Bogosian teaches at St. Louis Community College - Forest Park and has exhibited his work all over the United States.
Each artist brings unique experience and perspective to the exhibition:
- Performance art, video art, drawing, and sculpture
- Teaches regularly at Webster University's Vienna campus
- Participated in the KulturAxe Summer Academy in Hungary
- "My atmospheric drawings layer space, time, and memory in evocative ways."
- Influenced by studying and working in Italy from 1994-1995 and again from 2004-2007
- Papermaking and printmaking
- Chair and Professor of Papermaking, Printmaking, and Art Education at Webster University
- "My work is a series of questions about the nature of the process and utility of the product."
- Painting and drawing
- Inspired by images in photographs, sketchbooks, and clippings; and also memories and dreams
- "I present narratives that juxtapose the everyday with the fantastic as in a dream."
- Mixed media
- Recent work is based on the illustrations of board games, which represent life's rules
- Investigates the pop culture references on which board games from the 1920s through the 1970s comment
- His pieces on display in Paper were made in 2010, while he was living in Vienna, Austria and traveling through Eastern Europe
- Teaches art at Webster University and is the coordinator of Webster's drawing program
- "I use thin veils of color juxtaposed with tightly curled brushstrokes to create a controlled chaos."
- Explores the intersection of landscapes and abstraction
- Drawing and mixed media
- Artistic career began by painting and selling flowerpots
- Now creates mixed media work with political and social themes such as war and discrimination, influenced by immigrants he met through his church
- Painting and drawing
- Teaches at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois
- Has exhibited all over the country
- Mixed media
- "I explore the inherent qualities of surface and forms and their implicit symbolic presence."
- Works with collected found objects, limestone, wax, charred lumber, and steel
- Master printer at Island Press
- Showed his work in number of solo and group exhibitions
- Painting, drawing, and clay sculpture
- Subject matter includes cows, chickens, domestic interiors, equestrians, and rhinoceroses
- Some of her drawings are six or seven feet tall
- Painting and printmaking
- "As an artist I always want to do something new."
- Creating art is a challenge because it requires the artist to interpret momentary feelings using colors, symbolic marks, and rapid brushstrokes
Paper: A Group Exhibition opens at RAC on Friday, Sept. 7 from 5:30 - 7:30pm and is free and open to the public.
The gallery talk with the curator and artists takes place on Thursday, Oct. 4. The exhibition continues through October 20.