The halls of Hotel Indigo in Downtown Tuscaloosa are alive with the vivid colors and compositions of Kimberly Dawn Crowder!
A self-taught artist who currently resides in Chattanooga, TN, Crowder pulls inspiration from several aspects and informative moments in her life. From Southern culture, Kimberly was mentored by Howard Finster, a well-known Folk artist and minister from Georgia. In the 1990s, Crowder studied at his Paradise Garden retreat; she recalls, "As a young artist, I was fascinated by the force that was Howard Finster and his Paradise Garden."
Crowder and other artists mentored by Finster put together shows at Paradise Garden and later traveled the Folk Art circuit together. During this time, Crowder says that she drew inspiration from this community and from Howard.
"Howard became the center of the southern folk art community...We all became family as we worked together."
Although her time with Finster and the other artists he mentored was a deeply informative time in her life, as Crowder grew, she found her inspirations change. Her travels began to inspire her work, but, even still, her inspirations shift and grow--travel, her family, the southern landscape, and perhaps experiences and feelings that can't quite be described all bring influence to her work.
"It has become clear that inspiration is a deep well that exists outside of me but pours through me."
Color Therapy, her solo exhibition at Hotel Indigo, captures these influences through mixed media. For Crowder, creating is a type of therapy for her. When she's creating, she describes that "it's like going inside another world. During that time, everything just falls away, no worries or problems in that space...it's a place of ease."
Although she seeks comfort and escape in her work, Crowder is careful to avoid a rigid process. For her, spontaneity is key. Not bound by a particular media, her creative intuition can manifest itself as a sculpture, mixed media piece, or a painting. She feels that there is something which wants to come through her work, and she must figure out a way to "bring it into the world."
"Have you ever been completely lost in a piece of art? So lost that you forget everything around you, and the piece takes on a life of its own. This is exactly what happens to me when I am painting. Worlds bloom at the tips of my brushes."
Kimberly Dawn Crowder's exhibition at Hotel Indigo allows for some escape of the world in which we are living. Her vivid colors, whimsical compositions, and subject matter are sure to transport each viewer to a new world, created by Crowder's hands. For Crowder, she wants people to find a piece of art at which they can enjoy for years--"a piece that you can stare at every morning while you sit and have your coffee. Allow yourself to dive deeply into the piece, noticing every detail, every brush stroke. Enjoy the color and texture. Study the subject. Eventually, the art will decompose right in front of your eyes, and you will feel the emotion, the essence. That's the very best therapy."
Color Therapy by Kimberly Dawn Crowder is on view at Kentuck's Gallery at Hotel Indigo in Downtown Tuscaloosa until January 22, 2021. We encourage you to stop by and experience her work in-person!
Interested in purchasing a piece of Kimberly's work? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 205-758-1257.