Artist Spotlight: Kimberlee Koym-Murteira

Woman Not on Fire Still from Video: Artist in her bedroom Studio 2021

What is the hardest part of creating your art?
Having time for my work is the trickiest part of my artmaking.  I am never at a loss for ideas or energy – both come easily to me, but as a single mama of two who is a college educator, time is my most precious commodity.  

What inspires you?
Nature is a driving force. I use a 360 camera to capture images that convey a simultaneous sense of enclosure and expansion. The filming technique also creates a disembodied sense of floating. During the pandemic especially the wildness of nature was been a vital connection, but it is always informing me.  

What advice would you give your younger self?
Trust in yourself more, stop trying to explain yourself to others just make and let the words come afterwards.  Unleash yourself in form and expectations. 

Woman Not on Fire, Still from Video, 2021

Who would you most like to collaborate with? Why?
I love to collaborate and would like to continue to find opportunities to work with the public, artists I am friends with and people I admire.  I worked in theatre as a set designer before focusing on the “fine art” aspect of my practice.  There I enjoyed bouncing ideas off of the creative team, having a shared creative vocabulary and also my independent voice.  I have found many artists are less used to blurring the lines of their own process and form.  That has driven me to engage with the public who always have unexpected and interesting input on what I am doing.  In the future I’d like to work again with collaborators from the past and new artist friends. I like people who are engaged in a conversation about embodiment that intersects mine and also others whose skills differ widely and branch more into music & performance.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?
I have heard people for years say, forget the artworld and concentrate on engaging with your community, artists and artist groups you like.  Although I have heard those words, I still don’t feel I have listened and believed that that approach would get me where I need to go.  Now though I am feeling how my energy is aligning with the artists and creatives I am inspired by in a more vibrant way and I see that the simplicity of the advice is very promising.  The artworld and society in general likes to train people to follow a booklet of procedural steps, but when it comes down to it we each find our own way and find the next best step to make over and over again without overthinking the easier and more enjoyable the process can be. 

Gestures Toward Touch – Reconnection after the Pandemic, Installation Shot, 2022, Social Art Practice Project Oakland, CA 

If you could change anything about the art world, what would it be?
I wish that it were easier for artists with merit, dedication, and heart to get where they want to go.  That finding your way is discouraging can lead people to be too hard on themselves personally and privilege people who are more affluent and aggressive. I would like artists to have more funding and resources.

How has personal experience influenced your creativity?
Growing up with my fragmented parents was challenging, but my extended family in rural Texas taught me the values of nature, community, kindness, and compassion. My connection to the environment was born on my family’s land near Austin. Making things with my hands allowed me to find my place in the world and I have not stopped moving and making since then.  

What do you wish to accomplish with your art?
My work has been shifting to a socially engaged art practice for many years.  Commenting on the social justice and environmental challenges in our society is important for me and forms that allow me to work with the public to speak to those topics feels very aligned.  I also love to work alone in my studio.  I am creating conversations about embodiment how we move through and engage with the world in my work.  I don’t have an end goal, but a daily drive to interact and react to be active and heard.  

Woman Not on Fire Still from Video 2021

Gestures Toward Touch – Reconnection after the Pandemic Community Engagement Shot 2022 Social Art Practice Project Oakland, CA (image by Elias Messaoudi) below

In the forest with rose glasses from my Pandemic Selfies Series Print on Metal 2021

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