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As one enters the gallery at the Littleton Museum to visit the new exhibit, “Procession of Spirit,” one is welcomed by a distinguished delegation of spiritually oriented dignitaries, bronze figures posed in a semi-circle. Each one has a message for us … Spend some time getting acquainted.Walk beyond that group and Kim Kaminski’s figurative sculptures fill the rest of the floor space and some walls with more figurative works. Thirty-six sculptures in bronze and steel convey this Littleton artist’s fascination with “traditions, rituals and symbolism.” A Christian, she speaks of contact with friends of many faiths and exposure to other ways of interpretation through conversation, travel and study.The arrangement of sculpture is enhanced by a series of bright strips of fabric at the rear of the gallery that seems to pull the space together in a somewhat festive mode, related to the ceremonial imagery of the art.Kim Kaminski was the 2016 Winner of “Best of Show” in Littleton’s “Annual Own an Original” exhibit and therefore, she was awarded the opportunity by the Littleton Fine Arts Board to mount a solo show of her work at the museum in the following year. This would be great news for any artist — but also the beginning of an intense year of hard work to prepare for such an exhibit.Kaminski sculpts in a spacious studio in the family’s back yard (it was brought up to code and she was licensed, after much communication with the city’s building department, she said). She has her bronze figures cast in Loveland, but does all her own prep work and finishing. She welds the steel pieces in the studio. “I love working with patinas,” she says (on the bronzes). I can still paint with an illustrator’s eye.”She grew up “in Chicagoland” starting art lessons at 8 years old — “acting, singing, painting” and was soon “researching and figuring things out.” She studied art at Creighton University (BFA, MFA) and then attended the very traditional Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia for a second master’s degree.She’s gearing up again now for future projects — which may eventually include a return to painting, although that will require a different sort of space, since sculpting stirs up dust and dirt. And she plans to apply eventually for the prestigious Koehler fellowship/residency which provides for a foundry, materials and support for sculptors to refine technique and craftsmanship in metals or clay. That would allow her to take some pieces to a large scale, perhaps — a strong wish.Included in her studio work are commissioned pieces as well as new interpretations that grow from a focus on “visions, messages and images from my soul,” according to her website.If you go“Procession of Spirit: Sculpture by Kaminski” is exhibited at the Littleton Museum, 6028 S. Gallup St., Littleton, through Oct. 22. Open during Museum hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free. 303-795-3950. (Next in that gallery: the 2017 Own an Original! The Call for Artists is out on CAFE.org.)(While at the museum, look at the beautifully designed next-door exhibit on historic preservation.)
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