In the Eye of the Beholder
Photos by: Megan Florence/KimBox Photography
Katie Curry always knew art was her calling, but it wasn’t until she answered the voice within that she unleashed the power of the artist she’s become.
Born and raised in the coastal town of St. Simons Island, Georgia, Katie took an interest in art at a young age. “I’ve been drawing and painting as long as I can recall. I remember seeing my first Frida Kahlo painting when I was six years old, and I was so inspired. Painting was the only thing I ever wanted to do.”
Katie followed her passion when she attended Troy University to study art and anthropology. “I always saw a connection between art and its cultural impacts and influences on different societies, and I wanted to find a way to combine those factors with my own talents.”
Katie’s work is predominately faith based, and she said she’s working hard to present her pieces in a way that doesn’t alienate a particular group. “While I draw from my faith to create art, I don’t want to push my religion or beliefs onto anyone. I hope that when people see my art, they are able to interpret it in a way that speaks to them.”
Like many young people, Katie said she struggled throughout college to find herself. She found it difficult to use her gift in a productive way, until her roommate encouraged her to search within herself for the answers. Thanks to her still-best friend, Katie said she learned to listen to her intuition, or what she calls the Holy Spirit, to guide her on her path through life.
“Many people might call their intuition their inner voice, but I believe that for me it’s the Holy Spirit leading me to the right decisions. I feel like if you’re in tune with that and listen to the voice with respect, He will lead you to make something beautiful for yourself and others.”
Katie took control of her own happiness and the opportunities came flooding her way. Having just visited Italy, Katie got the chance to go to the Sistine Chapel and see modern interpretations of religious art, as well as iconic pieces like the Creation of Adam. The trip was, “an inspiring and beautiful experience,” she shared.
She now does commission work, including incredibly-detailed dog, cat and human portraits in pencil and watercolor, as well as colorful abstracts. Her attention to detail and gift for bringing an image to life has led her to be one of the South’s most up-and-coming, young artists.
Katie has interned at the Albany Museum of Art, where she publicly showed her pieces for the first time. From there, she met the painting professor from Albany State University who allowed her to teach an abstract watercolor workshop. This led to her first solo gallery show at the university for the entire month of March, a feat many artists never achieve, let alone at such a young age.
She said, “Each painting is a piece of me, and when it comes to putting my work out there to the world, criticism is inevitable. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I believe in my work and stand by it.”
And the community is standing by her work as well. Her show, which was featured at Albany State University (a historically black university), was well received by all who viewed her work. Katie said that receiving gratification for her work from a cultural standpoint that may be different from her own was the most rewarding part of her show. “It’s an amazing feeling to be able to talk about art and culture openly with all races. Exploring what makes us both different and the same is a beautiful gift that helps us to understand one another and live in harmony.”
Katie said she admires Montgomery artist, Lynthia Edwards, a local painter who uses bold, bright colors and familiar subject matter to bring her canvases to life -- much like Katie herself. “I’d love to collaborate with her, because you can’t look at her work and not feel something. I think it would be a cool mixture of cultural and religious pieces that everyone can relate to.”
As for what’s next for Katie, she continues to paint and is planning to relocate to use her skills as a graphic-design artist in her hometown of St. Simons Island. A creative, free spirit with a passion for life, Katie said she’s not too worried about the next step. “I try very hard to live in the moment. So many people are constantly planning ahead, and I am learning to just embrace each day as it comes. I know that He has a plan for me, so I trust the process and do my best to listen when He speaks.”
To view Katie Curry’s work or to contact her for commission work, visit her Art by K. Curry Facebook page, @artbykcurry Instagram page or contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.