Artists can and often do have many sides to their creative expression; writers paint, singers sculpt and sometimes it seems as if everybody takes pictures (doesn’t make them a photographer).
We have visited Kathleen Loomis previously as a maker of flag images that make political and social statements, but today she shares her version of a not uncommon artist’s practice: daily assignments. Of course, most any committed artist enters their studio every day, but in addition to whatever ongoing projects that might be taking up their time, the might set themselves the task of completing one self-contained idea each day, possibly in the morning. Like morning yoga or calisthenics, it gets the blood moving for the remainder of the day.
“I've been doing daily art since 2001,” Loomis tells us. “Each year the rules change; in different years I have worked with photography, collage, drawing, hand stitching, quilting, soft sculpture and mail art.
Loomis is a very active blogger, so the evidence of this strain of work is often evidenced there. In 2010 she took a photo every day and posted it: kathysdailyart.blogspot.com. In 2014 Loomis made a collage every day, but also challenged herself to expand on those ideas once a week for a bigger collage piece. A gradual increase in scale also followed her 2016 daily practice: “I did a drawing every day, filling five sketchbooks. Each new sketchbook was a bit larger than the previous ones as I gained confidence.”
“Once you've done it this long, the concept takes on a life of its own. Ask me why I do daily art, I'll tell you that I like the discipline and structure, that it makes me think about art every day, that the regular work improves my skill and focus, that the repetition allows me to explore ideas without the risk of a ‘real’ work. But I also do daily art because I do daily art. It has become a part of my life and I would feel bereft, missing an essential part of me, without it.”
Loomis’s solo exhibit, Day by Day by Day: adventures in regular art, will be at PYRO Gallery in Louisville October 25 through December 1, 2018. The artist will give a gallery talk November 3 at 12 noon.
Pyro Gallery, Louisville KY, Day by Day by Day, 2018; New Year, New Pyro Artists, 2017
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis IN, Dialogues, 2016
Dairy Barn, Athens OH, and on tour throughout the US, Quilt National ’15, ’11,’09 and ’03 (Quilts Japan Prize, 2009)
Jasper Arts Center, Jasper IN, Annual Juried Art Exhibits, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2011, 2015, 2017 (award of merit, 2011; best in show, 2015 and 2017)
Hometown: Saginaw, Michigan
Education: BA in Journalism, Syracuse University; MSJ Northwestern University
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.