Oregon Coast Council for the Arts welcomes Coastal Lane County artist Kat Cunningham to the Coastal Oregon Visual Artist Showcase Gallery at the Newport Visual Arts Center in June.
“Pacific Passions” examines the colors, textures and forms of many places on the Pacific Ocean via mixed media, painting and encaustics. A video about Kat Cunningham accompanies her exhibit. “I create art to help raise my consciousness and to give the viewer the understanding that we are nature, and there is only oneness. Each thought manifests to design our environment. For me, nature and its symbolism is that artistic reminder,” says Cunningham.
Since 2007, Cunningham has lived and worked in Florence. “Now influenced by the Oregon sea life and coastal beauty, my present work is encaustic and my message is still the same – human connection, consciousness through nature,” she explained. In the 1970s, she lived in southern California, owned graphic design studios and started the first fiber arts magazine Fibernews.
Belonging to the prestigious Los Angeles Illustrators Society (LAIF), she chose to tell the Air Force story in graphic designed fabrics as illustration and presented the pieces each year in Washington, D.C. to the USAF Illustrators program for the Secretary of State of the Air Force.
In the 1980s, she was again influenced by her environment when she chose to live in Europe for seven years. Traveling to see art she had only read about brought finesse to her work.
Living in Maui gave her a deeper connection to sea life and the plant world as art subjects.
In Scottsdale, Ariz., she was inspired by the Native American culture.
Cunningham has received numerous awards including the USAF award. Recently she was one of nineteen chosen nationwide for Cloth Paper & Scissors Magazine’s Cancer Awareness Art.
As the president of the Florence Arts and Crafts Association, she started the movement to financially and artistically support art in the middle schools and developed a youth mentoring program.
Currently, she is creating a series of encaustic paintings called “Women in Thought.” “Various women, in international settings I have witnessed, are searching for balance,” Cunningham explained. “The process they go through is graphically interpreted and blended with aspects of nature symbology.”
Showcase Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 12:00pm to 4:00pm