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KAY SALWEN

    artist & art educator

I was born in Ridgefield, Connecticut and have spent the last 9 years in Southwest Colorado. I started drawing before I started walking and spent many days as a child melting colored wax on rocks and otherwise creating beauty with found objects.  Starting at the age of 7, I would take 3 hour art classes every Saturday and would often be found staring at ants while peers were gossiping on the playground.  As an adolescent and young adult I continued my artwork learning from professors at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, at UNSW in Sydney, Australia, and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. I found that the medium didn't matter, I just loved to create. I worked with ceramics, watercolor, charcoal, acrylic, oil, metal, wax, photography, pencil, printmaking, and anything else I could find. I continued to foster my love of teaching and guiding leading adolescents and young adults as a wilderness guide where I learned that I could create with pine needles, yucca fibers, juniper wood, and serpentine rocks as well.  From there I started teaching primitive skills such as basket weaving, sandal making, and spoon carving at gatherings such as Wintercount and Rabbitstick. In 2018 I became a graduate of the Wilderness Awareness School. There I fostered a deeper connection to the world at large, which I so often aim to honor through my art. I also became more skilled at staring at ants.

 

I clearly remember my childhood art teacher telling the class, "I'm not teaching you how to draw, I'm teaching you how to see." I have carried this lesson with me through the decades, aiming to see the world more clearly, more wholey, and with more gratitude. When I teach others I aim to help them see both the world and themselves as truly beautiful, and in that, worthy of the time it takes to truthy pause and honor the gifts we have been given in this world.

 

Thank you for reading. May you allow yourself to see and honor beauty today.