A collection of works focuses on taking the old and transforming it into works of art.
“Layers,” an exhibition of pewter and reclaimed wood artwork by Kim Fox, is on view through Feb. 25 at the Goldhaber-Fend Fine Arts Center gallery at the Community Arts Center of Cambria County, 1217 Menoher Blvd. , Westmount.
Angela R. Godin, the arts center‘s executive director, said Fox is an incredible artist and her abilities and skills are diverse and captivating, yet ingenious.
“His use of reuse and recovery is something that requires an advanced artistic eye,” she said.
“The arts center is so fortunate to have such wonderful talent to begin our 2022 year of exhibiting artists. It really is an exhibition not to be missed. »
Allegheny County Artist
Fox, of Mount Lebanon, Allegheny County, earned a bachelor’s degree in printmaking from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.
“I actually decided when I was 9 that I wanted to be an artist, and that’s been the guiding framework for my whole life,” she said.
“I do a lot of different work – illustration, printmaking and painting. About 12 years ago I attended a pewter workshop, and it put me on a whole new path of working with pewter of different manners.
Inspired by her urban surroundings and the natural landscape of Pennsylvania, Fox creates contemporary quilts in non-traditional materials.
His process of cutting the tin and sourcing the wood is as much a part of the art as the assembly of the pieces.
She has been making art and exhibiting her work for over 17 years, beginning with more traditional painting and collage while living in Florida.
Find your roots
After returning to Pennsylvania and reconnecting with her roots, Fox began exploring regional arts and crafts with a more rural bent.
For nearly a decade, she has worked with vintage pewter and reclaimed wood and patchworked the material in a manner similar to quilting.
“I’m really inspired by all things handmade – farm tools, old wood, rusty metal, textures and old layers of paint,” Fox said.
“It’s a very rural, farm-inspired life that I really respond to. There’s this whole patchwork and layering thing that really fascinates me.
She said that due to supply chain issues due to COVID-19, some art materials have been difficult to obtain.
“One thing that’s not hard to find are old tin cans from estate sales, Goodwill stores and recycling, as well as salvaged wood,” Fox said.
“I frame all of my rooms with salvaged slats from under the plaster walls, so when people are renovating, I go to their homes and pick up wagonloads of slats. It’s all salvaged material, and that determines what my rooms will look like. When working with old boxes, I only use the art I find on the box.
years of preparation
Godin said the exhibit has been in the works for a few years and is the first time Fox has shown his work at the arts center.
“I met Kim through the Creator Square partnership we had been doing for a while called Craft Business Thursday and was introduced to her, and not only was her work ridiculously captivating, but it’s special and different,” a- she declared.
“I love that she not only uses repurposed and recyclable items, but really focuses on something very different and has created her own niche.”
Godin describes Fox’s work as “crazy cool, eclectic and awesome”.
“I’ve seen most of his work via photos and a few small samples,” she said. “I’ve never been able to see anything in person, so it will be exciting to exhibit his work because it’s truly amazing.”
“People will have an experience that they usually wouldn’t have the opportunity to have in Cambria County.”
Fox said it chose the title “Overlays” for the show based on a geology term.
“One of my other loves is geology, and layering is a term that has to do with upper layers being younger than lower layers,” she said.
“I applied my love of geology and put that into my art. Due to the way I build the pieces, the layers aren’t always clear as to what would be the newest to put on, because it’s not necessarily the one on top.
The exhibition presents nearly 40 pieces, including a series of smaller works.
“The show is pewter assemblages with a more abstract feel and based on layers and patchwork,” Fox said.
Fox has participated in exhibitions at museums and galleries such as the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Atrium Gallery, Providence, Rhode Island; and AIR Gallery, Brooklyn, New York.
In addition to creating art, she is an art teacher at regional schools in western Pennsylvania and a designer and illustrator.
Fox said that, for those viewing the exhibit, the hope is that viewers will see these materials through a new lens.
“Old Things with New Eyes”
“When I talk to people at work and explain that these are old containers of cookies, tobacco and coffee and you probably have them in your basement, invariably people will say that their grandmother has them. kept or that they had them and didn’t know what to do with them,” she said.
“Looking at the materials and realizing that maybe you don’t have to put everything in the landfill because these parts are beautiful and can be reused. We have limited resources on this planet, and I think it’s important to look at old things with new eyes.
For more information about Fox and his work, visit www.kimfox.art or www.workerbird.com.
To celebrate the exhibition, a vernissage will take place on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Fox will be on hand to discuss the show’s pieces and to answer questions about his artistic process.
Light refreshments will be served.
“It’s really special to be able to interact with the art, to see it and to be in the same room with it, and to be able to experience that with the artist at the same time, it’s so awesome,” said Godin.
Additionally, a video tour and artist talk about the work are available on the arts center’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/cacccarts and on its Facebook page.
“We wanted to be able to offer digital components to people who are still reluctant to go out in public or have health issues,” Godin said.
Alongside the exhibit, Fox will present “Maker’s Workshop: Tin Collage on Wood Class” from 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. on February 24.
The workshop is for all levels. Participants will learn how to safely deconstruct boxes and use the pieces to create a picture stuck on reclaimed wood.
They will create their own little room.
“It’s an exciting opportunity, and the pewter shops are so much fun because it’s really something a beginner can do, and it’s something someone who knows metal really well can do. because it’s easily accessible,” Fox said.
“It’s convenient and noisy and it’s not fiddly so things don’t break. The feedback I get is great and people really appreciate that.
Godin said they were thrilled to have Fox bring her talent as a teacher to the arts center with the workshop.
“Not all artists in our local community have that skill set, and being able to have that in-depth educational aspect and learn from such a specific maker-artisan is really important for the benefit of the arts and culture sector within our local community. community,” Godin said.
Each session is limited to six participants.
The cost is $30 for members and $35 for non-members.
Through an Institute of Museums and Library Services grant to the art center, scholarships are available to attend the workshop free of charge. Interested persons can apply at www.caccc.org under the Art Education tab.
Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
There is no charge to attend the exhibition.
For more information, call 814-255-6515 or visit www.caccc.org.