Midland based artist Kimberly Megoran is a rare contemporary artist that literally lives and breathes her work. A singer-songwriter familiar to many throughout the Great Lakes Bay area for her work with Kimberly & Company - a traveling folk oriented troupe of musical minstrels - her work as a visual artist has largely lingered in the background while raising a family and pursuing her creative musical interests.
A graduate from Ferris State University, last August Kimberly began pursuing her passion for the visual arts once again by picking up her paint brushes instead of her guitar pick and starting to create a series of highly colorful impressionistic paintings, which are currently on display at Midland's new Serendipity 101 Gallery, located at 144 Ashman Street.
Inspired by the work of Picasso and Cezanne, yet stylistically possessing a texture and detailed rendering distinctly her own, this latest surge of work and creative turn resulted when her long-beloved canine companion, Ballou, became ill.
“My dog became sick back in May and I had to spend a lot of time with him, so I felt compelled to start painting again and started this new style of Abstract painting after I visited the Picasso exhibition at the Flint Institute of Art,” explains Kimberly.
“The first one I painted was of my retired 6-string Takamine guitar. I had just returned from Africa and the neck on my Taylor guitar broke, so I picked up this new Takamine and over the years proceeded to play a hole right through the wood,” she laughs. “So I decided to start this new visual approach with a series about my Takamine - one is 'Takamine Alive' and the other is 'Takamine Retired'. That guitar helped my write and perform many songs across the state, including Chief on a Fence, 5 AM, Counting No Time and Mother's Day.”
“My artwork is inspired from within and encompasses all that I am, all that I have done, and all that I do,” she reflects. “It is inspired from dreams, from endurance, from patience, from love and from music.”
“After the Takamine series, I started a series of Sister's Collaborative pieces,” she continues. “These were done at Love Street Studios, where love meets the arts, musical as well as visual. These were created collaboratively with my long lost sister, Deborah Oakwood, and was inspired over the Christmas Holidays of 2011. This work is reflective of the flood of emotions of meeting a sister later in life as well as symbolic of the playfulness of all sisters.”
Kimberly notes how her earlier artistic styles were more conventional, centering on portraits of native Americans, along with watercolors. “I'm in love with color and when I started pouring myself into my artwork, everybody encouraged me to start painting again. I paint in oil and acrylic and also cut glass; but all of the works at the Serendipity are multi-media acrylic works.”
“I firmly believe that everybody is born an artist of some sort,” continues Kimberly. “It's part of your soul and being. I'm also in love with my guitars and instruments, so it was natural for them to become a subject of my brush. Since August I've created about 20 new works.”
“Basically, I sit and paint. If you come to Love Street you're going to paint or play music,” she smiles. “Most people paint what they see and are more conventional in their approach, but I love it when color and subject blend together.”
On Saturday, April 21st, from 3:00 - 7:00 PM there will be a Meet the Artist gathering at The Serendipity Gallery. Patrons can meet Kimberly and check out her incredibly visual paintings and artwork; plus she will have her retired Takamine guitar restored to play at this event, along with her sister Debbie Oakwood.