Local artist returns to nature with upcoming exhibit | June 21, 2013 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - June 21, 2013

Local artist returns to nature with upcoming exhibit

by Elize Manoukian

Even long after they're gone, certain spaces leave lasting impressions of happiness or longing. For artisan printmaker Kathryn Kain, these memories can create inspiration.

A neighborhood that was once residential at the Hunters Point Naval Base in San Francisco provides the vision for her upcoming exhibition, "Gone to the Wild", which opens at the Mohr Gallery of the Community School of Music and Art (CSMA) Friday, June 21.

Kain moved to the Bay Area from Toledo, Ohio in 1979, and received her post-baccalaureate degree in print making from the California State University at Hayward under the tutelage of legendary Bay Area artist Kenjilo Nanao. During this time, Kain joined a movement of artists to colonize Hunters Point after the Navy abandoned it in the 1970s. While the old shipyards were leased and renovated into studios, the former homes fell into disuse and disarray.

"Especially in our urban area we can never find a space that's just uninhabited and empty," Kain says. "(The houses) were covered with plants that had just gone wild."

As it became apparent that the neighborhood would be developed, Kain said she returned to the location as often as possible, taking hundreds of photos and collecting flowers and plants to take back to her studio.

"In my mind, it was like I had to do it, because of the feeling that place gave me... You just don't see something like that every day," she said.

The surreal collection features a number of large-scale prints that juxtapose images of women with a more natural element. "As a female I identify with that," Kain says. "I did a ton of figurative work early on but... I started doing still life because I wanted to not rely on photography, to bring things into my studio and draw from life."

Kain now balances her time in the studio with work as an instructor of etching, lithography and monotype for Stanford University and other institutions, and her career as a master printmaker for Smith Andersen Editions, a Palo Alto gallery and press. Kain works with fine artists, providing technical expertise and skill to facilitate their craft. Kain also volunteers for nonprofit organizations such as the San Francisco-based ArtSeed, which offers free art classes to underprivileged children, and hosts workshops out of Smith Andersen.

Although the collaborative nature of much of her work makes it a challenge to dedicate time to her own art, Kain says that seeking out those experiences comes with its own value.

"If I'm in my studio every day alone, it can be nice, but I'm not really a part of the world."

CSMA's Mohr Gallery is located at Finn Center, 230 San Antonio Circle in Mountain View. The Friday, June 21, reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. and is free.


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Don't forget to vote!

Don't forget to cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 29th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 21st issue of the Mountain View Voice.