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Lucy Kim awarded Boston Artadia Award

Published: January 16, 2015
Section: Arts, Etc.


Lucy Kim, a faculty member who teaches various fine arts classes at Brandeis, including Introduction to Drawing and Beginning Painting and Printmaking, has recently been awarded the highly esteemed Boston Artadia Award.

Kim was named one of 10 finalists a while back, a feat in and of itself, only later to be selected as one of three winners. The award guarantees a $12,000 unrestricted grant that she can use for all of her artistic endeavors. As one of the 10 finalists, Kim discovered another perk: she got a studio visit with Christopher Bedford (director of the Rose Art Museum), Bartholomew Ryan (assistant curator of the Walker Art Center) and Gretchen Wagner (artistic director and chief curator of the Oklahoma Contemporary), three renowned curators.

Having previously experimented with all different forms of art as an undergraduate at the Rhode Island School of Design and graduate student for Yale University, Kim consequently has developed her skills to masterfully paint, draw, sculpt and make prints. She has had the chance to express herself through many different media and explained, “Though I work primarily in painting and sculpture, I’ve also worked with photography, installation, printmaking and video.” Her voracious interest in all things art related make her a force to be reckoned with, for there seems to be no limit to her talent.

Kim submitted a portfolio for the Artadia award with some of her more recent work, which she described as “paintings [that] combine mold-making and casting with oil painting.” The resulting work is the outcome of “several years of material and conceptual experimentation.” Her skills are admirable in that she is comfortable testing her boundaries and going to great lengths to improve her work. Usually drawing her inspiration from her life experiences, “It is a way to engage my own subjectivity and also to keep things relevant and specific,” Kim said. Sculpting as an art form requires the direct manipulation of objects that inadvertently binds the artist with the clay but also fosters a connection artist’s surroundings. She incorporates “the world of imagery that is meant to elicit desire, mostly from advertising.”

As far as the grant goes, Kim intends to use the award to pay for her studio rent and materials she requires for her first solo show in New York City. Considering the great cost of her art materials, the artist mentioned that “the timing couldn’t have been better” for her show at Lisa Cooley Gallery. For some it appears that there truly is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow—and Kim just happened to stumble upon it in all her artistic travels, a paintbrush in hand and paint on the tip of her nose.

When asked about the progression of her artwork through her extensive career, she mentioned it was hard to tell where the art was headed for early in its conception. At the time she didn’t think of her artwork in terms of progression while working on each piece: “It was all problem solving in the moment, and making a new decision based on the previous one.” Kim found herself focusing on the minute to make each piece unique, memorable and a firm representation of herself. Given her years of experience in the field, she admits that she creates art differently now than when she was first studying it: “Over the years, I have learned to prioritize and edit. It still starts out messy. The messy part is critical.”