Jamie Kivisto explores birds as ‘Messengers’ in Village Gallery series
If you observe her paintings, there is a deepness and a message that presents itself to those who can see beyond the initial visual.
Ancient wisdom throughout many cultures depicts the bird as both a symbol of freedom as well as the soul’s journey in pursuit of enlightenment. They are said to be a link between humans and the spirit world, delivering messages of all kinds to those who are open to receive.
In her latest series, “Messengers,” artist Jamie Kivisto is joyfully inspired to take note of their messages and communicate them through her mixed media paintings. When completed, this series will be consolidated into a book of the artworks.
The Village Gallery of Local Artists hosts its First Friday event highlighting the spiritual collage art by Kivisto, Oct. 7, 6-8 p.m. She will have many of this series available to see.
As part of a 100-day project, Kivisto began with the simple intention of completing an 8-by-8-inch painting of a bird each day. This would allow for consistent production of art in addition to working on her larger landscape inspired paintings. As the project unfolded, images and text from various sources began to be added as they coincided nicely with the main subject, thus bringing forth the final message of the piece.
Rather than plan the piece in advance, she allows each painting to develop intuitively from start to finish. The final image can range from humorous, to deep and thought provoking. For the viewer who takes the time to investigate beyond the endearing quality of the bird in the foreground, a wise statement relating to the human experience is revealed. Like other work from Kivisto, the Messenger series is inspired by growth, transformation, and a fascination with human psychology.
The first examples of collage art were made over 100 years ago, when Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, at the height of their artistic exchanges, burst into completely new territory with their avant-garde papiers collés. Cutting, ripping, pasting, overlaying different textures and materials, the two artists started examining and dissecting objects and life in a radically new way. Since then, collage artists from countless different movements, from Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, have been exploring the technique. Contemporary collage artists continue to work with the medium in ways that offer us new notions of what it can be and how it reflects on the world around us.
In the majority of her work, Kivisto uses a mix of collage and acrylic paint to create extra depth and allow for interesting surprises to peek through from the initial layers. Kivisto’s work contains elements of a gritty abstract quality combined with a painterly representational approach.
Throughout her nearly 20 years as a working artist, she has done everything from selling her art on the boardwalk in Venice Beach, California, featuring pieces in film and television, teaching children art in after school programs, book illustration, displaying work throughout the country, to countless private commissions.
As her work develops and correlates with life experience, and because of her journey through the Messenger series, Kivisto’s most recent and upcoming work is intended to take an even more spiritual approach. Her goal is to think about the work less and allow herself to let go and become a vessel for creation as each layer of paint, collage, and text is guided by spirit.
In her own way, she challenges and dismantles the narrow-minded notions about collage. Kivisto shows us how powerful, inspiring and relevant the art of collage still is today and continuously explores how she can redefine and reinvent the medium.
Kivisto was born and grew up in northern Minnesota, close to Lake Superior. She enjoyed camping, playing in the woods and recreating at the lake. As a landscape painter, her grandmother was influential in developing her artistic interests by painting with her. Kivisto was torn between pursuing a psychology, film or fine art degree. She chose Fine Art and attended the University of Cincinnati School of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.
Kivisto’s vision for future projects is to continue the journey of conveying elements of our human experience and the spirit realm depicted through images inspired by nature and her inhabitants. She is also in the process of seeking an animal rescue group that would like to collaborate with her in an effort to give back, educate, and create a mutually beneficial relationship that helps animals and the people who devote their time to rescuing them.
The Village Gallery is located at 6512 State Route 179 in the Village of Oak Creek at the Cortez roundabout. Please stop by to see Kivisto’s unique work and enjoy the work of 40 other local artists. There will be appetizers to share while enjoying this fabulous art.