OXFORD — A silk painting exhibition and workshop with master silk artist, Jamie Kirkell is being offered at the Oxford Community Arts Center on June 27-28, from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Kirkell’s work is also on exhibit at the Arts Center through July 1.
As a child growing up in Ohio, school was the last thing on Kirkell’s mind. He entertained himself in class by drawing on his pant legs. In junior high he convinced his mother to buy him a very expensive shirt with an exotic design he fell in love with at an upscale shop near their home in Cleveland.
“It was the equivalent of a $90 shirt today. Would you buy that for a 12-year-old?” asks Kirkell. “I wore that thing until you couldn’t get near it. I couldn’t bear to throw it out.”
After completing a fine arts degree at Ohio State University, Kirkell abandoned academia and joined the Peace Corps. Stationed in the Philippines he adapted to a much simpler life; showering was a tin can of cold water dumped over his head and walking five miles to the next barrio to purchase a Pepsi. On a break during his second year, Kirkell took a trip to Indonesia where, walking into a Javanese market, he saw a brilliant display of textiles that reminded him of a certain shirt, stuffed in a drawer in his parents’ Ohio home.
“I walked into that market, and the colors were so powerful I almost had a heart attack,” Kirkell recalls. “The minute I saw those textiles, I fell in love. They spoke to me.” The experience was so transformative that when Kirkell left the Corps, he returned to Jakarta to study with master batik artist, Bambang Oetoro.
Eventually, Kirkell switched from batik to painting on silk “It’s like the different between driving a nice Buick and a Lexus,” he says.
Working first in New York out of a Tribeca studio before moving to Sarasota, Florida, Kirkell’s work has been displayed around the country. These days Kirkell works from the studio in his Sarasota home and teaches workshops around the country at botanical gardens, arboretums, and museums.
The cost for the two-day workshop at the Oxford Community Arts Center is $195 and includes silk painting supplies. Additional information is available at http://www.oxarts.org/portfolio-view/painting-on-silk-workshop.
The Oxford Community Arts Center is located at 10 South College Avenue, in Oxford. For additional information contact the Art Center at email@example.com or 513-524-8506, or visit the website www.oxarts.org.