By Lillian Linscott
One artist, one message, 139 paintings. Kim Williams, 63, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, hopes to convey a message of peace to the public through her art.
William’s ArtPrize entry, “Peace Like A River,” is a collection of 139 individual acrylic paintings, combined and displayed so a peaceful lake scene is revealed when they are viewed as a whole. The original inspiration is represented in the largest depiction, a heron in flight.
“Whenever I saw the heron, it was in the fall and I was in the kayak and it was flying over all the fall leaves,” Williams said. “It was just such a beautiful scene that immediately that evening I started putting all the ideas together.”
Upon closer examination, each elaborate painting communicates its own story. A note in a bottle from an ArtPrize artist Williams met the previous year, “Opal the Goat” with glimmering earrings, feathers taken from a carcass and many more intriguing features. Many of the objects used are recycled, including the little papers used in Hershey’s kisses packaging. The piece took approximately a year to develop.
“Whenever I think about peace these are things that whenever I see them they are able to bring me peace, they do bring me peace,” Williams said, “and I’m hoping, the biggest hope, that other people can get to this sense of peace in their relationships as well.”
The artist’s love for her craft and how it affected those who viewed it was apparent as she stood by her painting and spoke to the public. Viewers responded with positive words and smiles.
“Reminds me of home,” said Justin Meijers, 31, from Hesperia, MI.
Nancy Perez, 31, from Mexico, has attended ArtPrize three times. She said, “(The painting) makes me think of nature, I love it.”
Williams began painting at the age of eight. Her father convinced a teacher that refused to teach children, to take her under her wing. Fifty years later, this teacher proudly attended one of Williams’ shows.
“I’ve told her that everything I do has a piece of her in it,” Williams said, “because I use the same palette colors and I approach the painting exactly the way she taught me 50 years ago.”
Williams’ work can be viewed inside Biggby, located at 146 Monroe Center near Rosa Parks Circle.