Talent is everywhere in the 573; paintings on buildings, sculptures gracing the parks, businesses, walkways, galleries, and ever-changing window displays…art makes life more enjoyable. Life is art. And for some, art is life.
Mural by Craig Thomas
Recently, we drove the Perryville streets to see new exhibits -by the Splash Pad Park, around the Downtown Square, and in front of local businesses. We had to meet some of the local artists behind Perryville's Annual Outdoor Art Exhibition.
Mural by Christine DeShazo
Meet Kenzie Wolk
Between making memorable murals and being super mom, Kenzie stays quite busy. For the past several years she's been beautifying the local communities across the 573, one mural at a time.
I was born and raised in St. Charles, Missouri, and attended Lindenwood University. After I was married, we moved to Ste. Genevieve, where I now live with my husband, three kids, four dogs & 8 cats.
My grandma was a natural-born artist. She was my first art teacher. Her pencil was a magic wand. I never thought I would be an artist. I always felt my talents were inferior, so I avoided art classes because artists attended art classes. When I was halfway through college, my brother suggested a drawing class, and the inferiority spell was broken. Well, almost. The tiny voice in my head always tells me, "One of these days, someone will figure out you're not an artist." I quiet the chatter by thinking art is just for fun.
My art has evolved from smaller portraits to current large-scale murals, and I love it! Painting in front of others was something I feared, but now I consider it a privilege. After every mural, I say the next one will be bigger and better. The "show" invites the viewer deeper into the artistic experience.
The City of Perryville wanted a historical and welcoming mural. This painting inspires conversation between the younger and older generations sharing the town's history. The mural tells the history of the building once the Pevely Café. Adding the red GTO (by request) and American flags to the historic buildings and old street scenes made the mural more dynamic and interesting. The evolution of ideas, styles, emotions, and directions keeps me motivated and blossoming.
Mural by Kenzie Wolk
Kenzie's mural is located in Perryville on the Nicewonger building on the corner of Saint Joseph and Jackson St.
Meet Kaitlyn Abt
A young local sculptor with a welding torch and a pocketful of sparky dreams.
I was born and raised in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, before attending Jefferson College and later Southwest Missouri State University. I will graduate from Semo with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Sculpture and a minor in Psychology.
Challenge was built through the Sculpture Grant Program that my Professor Chris Wubbena started at SEMO. Local businesses award grant money to sculpture students to create a public sculpture. I was the lucky student who applied and was awarded the opportunity. Challenge was designed out of inspiration from my own personal life, trials, and tribulations. She stands bold and strong, with sleek feminine curves and sharp protruding points that stab at the sky as if to say, "Challenge me; I dare you."
I can't remember when there wasn't a pencil or paint in my hand or when I wasn't tinkering with, building, or fixing things. Growing up, I always knew that art was my calling, but I also wanted to help people. When I discovered Art Therapy, I found my true career path. I will continue to produce art and build my portfolio, but Art Therapy is my main career plan.
I will continue producing my work and being involved in the art community. Another life goal is to travel and gain as many cultural experiences as possible. I plan on spreading love and positivity wherever I go, and however I manage to do that, I'm sure art will always be a big part of that.
Scupture Kaitlyn Abt
Kaitlyn's piece, CHALLENGE, can be found on the corner of E. Sainte Marie and N. Spring.
Be sure to check out Perryville's fantastic new art exhibits soon. After all, it's an ever-changing and evolving exhibition, and you don't want to miss any part of the show.
GET OUT THERE!
words by aj koehler
pics by t smugala
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