Photos courtesy Kim Meadowlark.

Local artist Kim Meadowlark on creativity, community and her summer residency hosted by LSU College of Art & Design

Baton Rouge-based artist–and regularly featured inRegister photographer–Kim Meadowlark has become known for her colorful abstract square paintings. And now, she’s experimenting with her work in a new way with a summer residency at the LSU Glassell Gallery, hosted by the LSU College of Art & Design.

Unlike a typical art exhibition, the residency is a collaboration between Meadowlark and the local community, inviting everyone to take part in the creative process. Throughout June, visitors have taken part in the creation of works by Meadowlark, giving people a firsthand glimpse into Meadowlark’s works in addition to inspiring visitors’ own creativity.

“People aren’t focused on getting a ‘make-and-take,’ but digging in, chatting and building community while they work together on a sculpture or mural over an entire afternoon,” says LSU College of Art & Design director of galleries Courtney Taylor.

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Hear from Meadowlark herself about the residency happening throughout June in the Q&A below.

How did this come about?

“Courtney Taylor approached me in April with an idea to pilot a residency program to activate Glassell Gallery in a new way. She pitched an open studio residency that values process over product and experience over outcome, with the goal of gathering people together to create a communal experience. She’d been brainstorming with Richard Boehnke on campus, and the idea was to bridge campus and community with an LSU-based artist and a community-based artist, then just invite everyone into our process to make with us and one another. Richard, Courtney and I sat down and discussed our own visions and values, thinking through how we could create a space that supports our own creative practices and invite others to create and co-create communally.”

What are you most excited for regarding the residency?

“I’ve been looking at this space for many, many years, dreaming of having a show, but I knew it was out of reach since I didn’t attend LSU. So just being in this space and utilizing it as my personal studio while teaching others brings me the most excitement.”

Meadowlark says sound, music, and poetry are her main inspirations when it comes to creating art.

Where does the inspiration for your art come from?

“The inspiration for my art is heavily influenced by sound. When I’m listening to music, my mind is flooded with colors and movement. Reading more poetry over the past few years has also played a major influence on my pieces. Oftentimes, I will write my own and bury it within the colors.”

What does your creative process like?

“There’s a lot of layers when it comes to my finished pieces. This usually starts with some general base layer colors, drawing/writing, and more colorful layers, until I get it to a place where I feel like it is complete. From there, I do my white blocking which creates those fun little shapes that I have been bringing into this body of work. This is not a process that I map out beforehand, so sometimes my favorite parts of the painting end up getting covered up. It’s a funny process and it really makes me scratch my head sometimes.”

What can we expect from the show?

“The closing reception will showcase our community pieces that hundreds of people have chimed in on. I will also show some new original pieces that I have been working on since moving in. I have so much gratitude for this opportunity, and I am looking forward to what the future holds.”

The closing reception for the residency will take place this Friday, June 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, visit the event page here.