We had the good fortune of connecting with Kim Guthrie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kim, what are you inspired by?
I am inspired by any and everything. For a creative, it is the constant inspiration of how to sift through those and take that inspiration into a tangible place. I am enamored by the work of others that have come before us to make a path so that others may follow or be inspired to carve their own path. Lately I have been inspired by the community I find myself in, the historical buildings, the trees and the way the light streams forth through them. The plants and landscaping in my daily walks, the patriotism of porches with flags., the gingerbread on the homes exterior or the ancient iron fences. So basically, I’m a like a squirrel with a nut running to and from.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a sort of feel your way intuitively “squirrel after the nut” type of artist. I was lucky enough to attend the high school for performing and visual arts in Houston, Texas. I attended college in U of C Colorado and Art school in Lacoste France. Then I pretty much implemented chasing the nut all the while adamantly professing that I would never allow myself to take a job that did not include “making a living as an artist”. After college sign painting and graphic arts, then that morphed into murals and Faux Finishes, I did this as a living for 30 years. woohoo! goal ! Then my husbands job moved us around so establishing a mural business wasn’t an option. , so he said “Paint what you want”. I was so lost because I painted “chosen by the client or decorator” subjects in murals for so long, I had no idea what was “my art”. so in the 13 years since this I just gather inspiration one series at a time. I often take classes and try new mediums, just to keep honing my skills and challenging myself to get better. I picked up paper mache (takes u back to kindergarten inspiration balloon and torn paper and flour) along the way and it stuck. I recently ( a year ago June) opened my own gallery/studio storefront. It was always my dream and my husband and community and faith supported me to “take that Leap”. What I thought would happen wasn’t exactly what happened. But I am so “OK” about that. I thought people would see my paintings and run in and purchase! That does happen but to my surprise is what used to happen with murals. Clients see my work and say we love that and ask” hey we love that (building, dog, horse, person etc.) but would you paint ours? So – YES- what I realized is if you are a service oriented business, like commissions, murals, sculptures etc, you will always be busy and make a living. Doing murals with daily different clients all those 30 years actually afforded me such versatility in styles and skill sets. So my thought is, while I’m not great at any one thing, I am pretty good at a lot. I price to sell and stay busy so there I sit in my gallery/studio window everyday just doing what I love and dreams do come true- even for squirrels.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is easy- I actually tell people this almost daily that are visiting our little town of McKinney. We have the best free things and practically free things to do within a 10 block radius in downtown McKinney. We have several museums- The Heard Craig House, The Collin County History Museum, The Chestnut Square and inside the MPAC (the old courthouse). There really isn’t a bad restaurant in downtown McKinney, but I do say make a reservation. All the shops are unique and custom and really have something for everyone. I do say my gallery is on the “Cool Street” walking East, we have Lone Star Winery, A new Piercing Parlor, Hookah Lounge and Apparently Belly Dancing, Cigar Bar, Comic Book Store, Antique Alley, Hugs Cafe and the Comedy Club. That is just a few of the Attractions Just on One street. I always say definitely try to hit a music night at The Irish Pup (The Celt) and off the Square- Tupps Brewery. One of the recommended free things to do that inspire me is The Free historic walking tour put on by the CVB and Historic Preservation Society. I took it and it inspired my architectural painting series I call “Fall in Love with Where You Live”. I walked by things downtown McKinney everyday that I never knew- historic decisions and hidden happenings that paved the way for things to come. Someone loved my city before me and now its preserved for us and up to us to preserve for future generations. I know I am rambling here, But my family teases me about my love for McKinney. Now with covid, we do a family zoom night happy hour and everytime I mention something and I say the word McKinney they drink. lol
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to credit my community of McKinney and all the tired but optimistic folks who work and give tirelessly to keep this community vibrant and a place you would want to raise your kids in and have your folks retire to. We have lived here 4 years and it is a community like no other. You can be a transplant here and be welcomed in to the fold.. Most everyone will give you the shirt off their backs. My husband and I have lived in many small towns all across the country and all were welcoming but it took time. In McKinney, you can dive right in. The mayor and his wife, The CVB, the McKinney Main street staff and all the mom and pop business owners work tirelessly to keep their dreams of their own business open and all while helping multiple charities and non profits.
Other: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/kim-guthrie/shop https://pixels.com/profiles/kim-guthrie/shop Kim Guthrie Art Gallery/Studio Address: 115 W Virginia St Suite 101, McKinney, TX 75069