Kit Reuther’s space was filled with sunlight and bright canvases when I visited her at her home that she is temporarily using as her studio. Her use of formal elements like shape and color were worked into canvases, made into sculptures, visions manifested in both two and three-dimensional platforms. We sat down over coffee and I was lucky enough to learn about her work.
Nashville Visual Artists is a photo documentary that profiles visual artists living and working in Nashville. The purpose of this project is to bring awareness to the strong visual arts scene here. Nashville is famous for its music culture but a lot of people aren't familiar with its rich visual arts culture. By interviewing artists and documenting their process in the studio, I hope to draw more attention to the visual arts community here.
What is the theme of your work?
I don’t really approach work with a specific theme in mind. To say I have a theme would sound as if I actually know what I'm doing! Often I will just start a painting with an idea as simple as a single color that I've been curious about. How does it translate in paint? Is it as good on the canvas as i've imagined in my head? As I proceed to answer these questions, the work then becomes an exploration by trial and error. Formal issues inform the process: composition, scale, mass, line, etc. Things rarely go as planned, but I have come to appreciate and even rely on unpredictable outcomes.
What inspires your work?
I don't recall ever being at a loss for inspiration. I take in a tremendous amount of visual information (or inspiration as the case may be) from the everyday and mundane. It can be exhausting! Everything around me represents potential and I probably have several hundred ideas and sketches- mostly on post-it notes, but I rarely ever need to refer to them. I think they are like a safety net for me, in the event that I ever reach a visual block.
I am also inspired by other creative people in my life. They are like fuel for me, and it helps to know there are others out there wrestling with the creative process. Artists like Jodi Hays are good at bringing folks together, and those interactions help energize the hours of isolation in the studio.
What are the goals for your work?
I continue to push myself to make things that feel fresh and challenging. I get bored easily, but fortunately right now I have a backlog of new ideas, especially with my sculpture, and I am excited to get started (when my sculpture studio warms up!). I have been asked to participate in a group show this summer in which all of the artists are using the medium of cardboard. I also have a solo show this fall at David Lusk Gallery in Memphis, so that pretty much sums up my goals for 2015.
What are your thoughts on the Nashville arts scene?
Well, I found myself crawling on hands and knees through an art pod maze a couple of weeks ago, so Nashville is certainly offering a more diverse art experience! Where we go from here is anybody's guess. I am encouraged every time I hear of a new art venture, whether it is the announcement of a new gallery, pop up, or co-op space. Exposure is important in maintaining the growth of our art community alongside the overall growth of the city.
Kit is represented in Nashville and Memphis by David Lusk Gallery. To learn more about Kit’s work please visit http://www.kitreuther.com/