WARSAW — Now through Feb. 3, 2016, the Kim M. Reiff art exhibit will be on public display at Warsaw City Hall, 102 S. Buffalo St., Warsaw. Reiff is associate professor of art and design, and department chair of visual, performing and media arts at Grace College.
Her artistic pursuits include merging traditional and digital art forms that explore the visual and tactile nature of “being.” Utilizing wet media, digitized photographs, and mixed materials through a reconstructive process, her work personifies the inherent fragility and enduring strength of humanity.
Her current exhibit features artworks from two different series entitled “Shadows” and “Reconnecting.” Images from her Shadows series derive from shadows cast on sidewalks. Photos were taken with family and friends in Spain and in southern Indiana.
Reiff explains, “Shadows help us see ourselves, and sometimes the world, a little differently. As children, we chased them, jumped on them and danced with them. As adults we run from the shadows of our past, but seldom stop to see ourselves cast in the light of the present. This imagery explores stopping in the light with family and friends.” When viewing this work, Reiff hopes that observers will see their own shadow projected from the gallery lights and for a moment view themselves and the world a little differently.
The creative process for this work explores digital and traditional methods including the use of photography, photo imaging software, inkjet printing, and watercolor. The photographic compositions are modified, printed on watercolor paper, then manipulated using traditional brush and watercolors.
The second series, Reconnecting, is a body of work featuring knotted bows that in a simple way reveal a complex human condition: reconnecting of mind, body and spirit.
After experiencing what she refers to as a “life interruption” in 2013, her left side became totally paralyzed due to a stroke. Requiring significant focus of thought, determination, and help from family and friends, she regained the physical ability to stretch, tear and paint canvases again. And through hundreds of attempts, she relearned to tie bows.
Reiff states, “At one point when I was discouraged because the bows weren’t perfect, my friend said to me, ‘It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being whole’. The process of creating these tactile works revealed to me a new paradigm about reconnecting: it must happen in the present, and in the present we become whole.”
Through the visual textures of imperfectly tied canvas bows, dried acrylic paint and unraveled threads, her hope is the viewer may find encouragement on their own journey of reconnecting.
Shadows and Reconnecting by Kim Reiff may be viewed by the public at the Warsaw City Hall main lobby and gallery Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. until Feb. 3. Please note, City Hall will be closed Dec. 24 and 25.