Get to know Katie Dell Kaufman, an award-winning encaustic, collage and assemblage artist.
How did you discover the medium you currently work in?
My love of found materials led me to assemblage and collage. I discovered materials with a history and personal significance could be combined to tell a visual narrative. Combining two and three dimensional elements led to an inquiry into various methods of attachment and adhesives. Experimenting with beeswax as an adhesive in paper collage expanded the whole realm of possibilities of my work with both collage and assemblage. When I began using the wax medium and wax paints to attach, embed, and resurface works involving found papers and objects my work seemed to just take off.
How do you define "artist"?
It describes someone who has chosen to express oneself through visual means. Sometimes it is communication and at others self expression, it is a commitment to interpret one's experience of the world through the making of art.
How did you discover the Gateway Arts District?
I discovered the Gateway Arts District when searching for a replacement venue for a weekend workshop I was teaching at Flux Studios when their air conditioning went on the fritz. The Gateway Art Center building was not yet being used as studios and the second floor was made available to myself and a colleague as an alternative workshop space.
If you could give your younger self a piece of advice about being an artist, what would it be?
It would be to trust your intuition more. That is the way to find your authentic aesthetic voice and don't compare yourself to others. They are on their path and you are on yours. Neither negates the other.
Finally, pat yourself on your back more. A personal high five upon achieving those short and long term goals will make the trip easier and more rewarding.
What drives you?
Making art engages all of my senses. It gives me a place in the universe and a feeling of belonging unlike any I have ever known. Being in the studio is where I am most truly myself.
What is your greatest challenge as an artist?
Managing the time constraints and shifting mindsets of being an exhibiting artist and a teacher is my biggest challenge. It is only in the studio that my visual ideas start to flow. But splitting one's time between art education and art has the inherent challenge of being both inside and outside the creative process. Learning how to leave myself a thread or creative entry point back into the process has been key to managing the shifting mind space inherent in my combined practice.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I am working on a series of encaustic shadowboxes in which I combine my love of found materials with the luminous effects of encaustic paint.
Katie Dell Kaufman
205B-Gateway Art Center
3901 Rhode Island Ave,
Brentwood, MD 20722