If you were to visit the Norman Stevens Gallery in the Homer Babbidge Library to look at Kathleen Zimmerman’s work, you would see an abundance of abstract lines and shapes that come together in just the right way to form a recognizable image. The contrast between light and dark in her carefully woven drawings pops out at the viewer, drawing them in to contemplate what Zimmerman is trying to say.
Zimmerman’s work is currently on display in the library, and her exhibition will be open until Jan. 10. Her art consists of both digital prints and three-dimensional sculptures. Zimmerman’s website explains that her art seeks to explore “ideas concerning relationships, stages of life and culture.” According to Zimmerman, though, her art is up to interpretation.
She says that her art “does not directly say anything, but more tries to get the viewer to see something in a different way.” She wants people to gather different meanings from her work, and “let their minds wander.” An example Zimmerman gives is her universe series, a collection of prints that are related to space.
She wants these prints to inspire people to think about “what makes up the rings of Saturn, consider what it would be like to live in the caves of Mars, think about when we might be drawn into the black hole or create their version of heaven as they look up at the stars.” She is more concerned about getting people to think in certain ways than conveying a specific meaning.
All of Zimmerman’s prints start out as graphite drawings. Then, the drawings are transferred to serigraphs, which are a type of digital print. In order to print these serigraphs, ink is forced through a fine screen onto paper. Zimmerman says she prefers this method of printmaking because it lets her keep blank white areas of paper and allows her to “place blocks of vibrant color that run right up and kiss the rendered image.”
Zimmerman doesn’t limit her art to only two dimensions: She also makes sculptures. When choosing which medium to use to best demonstrate an idea of hers, she says that it depends on the idea.
“There are things that can only be expressed two-dimensionally while the same is true three-dimensionally. I kind of like working back and forth between two and three dimensions,” Zimmerman said.
When it comes to her influences, Zimmerman has plenty. She says she takes much inspiration from the world around her, and points to a quote from a former art professor which stuck with her: "Everyone is influenced by everything they see, read or hear, so choose your influences wisely." Zimmerman believes that while you can’t always choose what inspires you, “we are the sum of the experiences we have had along with our basic personality.”
As for which of her art pieces is her favorite, she can’t decide. But, Zimmerman does say that the exhibition here at UConn contains her best work.
“I would say that only the best ones are exhibited so all the work the public sees are my favorites,” said Zimmerman. If you’re looking to see some interesting art, definitely stop by the Norman Stevens Gallery and check Kathleen Zimmerman’s artwork out.
Ben Crnic is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org