By Lyndsie Kiebert
Local artist Kally Thurman has spent the pandemic reacquainting herself with her love of painting. The longtime art teacher discovered profound inspiration in a household object that received coveted status during the COVID-19 surge: toilet paper.
“There is the everyday thing that is symbolic this COVID year,” she said, “and there is a long tradition in painting of painting that everyday object.”
Thurman will show the resulting works as part of her show “Hoard Effect,” opening on Saturday, May 1 with a reception 5-7 p.m. at Evans Brothers Coffee in Sandpoint.
Thurman said she was able to find a “deep quiet” during the pandemic, within which she was able to delve into her technique and go back to basics. The journey brought her to the conclusion that in an increasingly digital world, painting may be one of the only ways left to truly capture life’s quiet moments.
“I wonder what is going to be left that records our everyday lives, because everyone right now has a cell phone and there are gazillions of images, but are they going to be saved?” she said. “Are they really going to be recording how we live, here and now?”
Thurman explored the concept in more depth in her artist statement for “Hoard Effect.”
“With consternation and pounding heart, I sincerely confront the theory that painting may die,” she wrote. “The visual world is so full of imagery from a spew of electronic devices, how can paintings matter? I return to my gut truth of the thing. It is that timeless hand, that human endeavor of lifting up and laying down paint. The brain, the soul, the heart playing to that endless human song.”
The collection on display at Evans Brothers will feature 19 paintings, though there were a number of others that Thurman created over the past year and gifted away in gratitude to community members and friends she’s been able to lean on in hard times.
“COVID is actually the story about community, and who are your chosen few, and the ones who will rally around you in your darkest hour,” she said.
Kally Thurman’s “Hoard Effect” show opening is 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, May 1 at Evans Brothers Coffee, 524 Church Street in Sandpoint. Refreshments will be served. Organizers request that attendees mask up and social distance. Thurman’s art will remain on display through June 13.
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