Kathy Wismar manifests her credo, “To be an artist is to live through your work,” via two modes of artistic expression, one three-dimensional and the other equally invitational. In her new show, Intersections and Affirmations, at Kolman & Pryor Gallery, December 6, 2014, through January 3, 2015, Wismar celebrates how “art is not static” with tactile ceramics and enticing abstract paintings that beckon viewers to experience—with their hands and eyes, hearts and minds—“a sense of possibility.”
A Minneapolis artist, Wismar specializes in wheel-thrown and hand-built functional pottery. She’s also an abstract painter working in watercolors and acrylics. “Working with two very different media, clay and paint,” she says, “I find points of intersection and moments of great difference.”
“Clay is very tactile,” she explains. “The pieces beg to be picked up, the heft felt in your hands and the entire object to be considered for what it is. The third dimension is where the potential lies—where we don’t just look at a piece, we interact with it.” Similarly, she continues, “The paintings are meant to draw you in, to find a point of entry in a shape or a color, then invite you to pass beyond imagined barriers and explore what is beneath.”
That moment of exploration is revelatory and celebratory for the artist. “Nothing affirms an artist more than the still moment when an observer succumbs to the magnetic pull of the artwork and begins to explore what it’s communicating,” Wismar adds.
Because of her works’ inviting qualities, Wismar’s ceramics and paintings are favorites among collectors. “Everyone who knows Kathy’s work is eager for this show, to see what she’s been working on and what they can add to their collections,” says Patrick Kemal Pryor, co-owner of Kolman & Pryor Gallery. “One can see both the influences of modernism and traditional ceramics in her work, which lend her pieces a distinctive aesthetic quality that draws both casual viewers and collectors to her work.”
Wismar has been exhibiting her work nationally since 1992. Before settling in Minnesota, she established an independent ceramic studio in Alexandria, VA. She’s honed her artistry at workshops and through study projects over the years, notably at Colorado’s Anderson Ranch, the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., and in University of Wisconsin-River Falls master seminars with Ken Matsuzaki and Warren MacKenzie.