This week we welcome Debbi Kenote, a New York-based artist who received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Western Washington University and her master’s degree in fine arts from Brooklyn College. She has exhibited at galleries internationally, including shows at Duran|Mashaal Gallery, Cob Gallery, Fir Gallery, Page Bond Gallery, Peep Space, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, and the Peekskill Project. Kenote’s work has been published through the Innovate Grant, Elle Magazine, the Hopper Prize, Art of Choice, Page Bond Gallery, What’s Hot Magazine and Otra Vox.
Kenote has been an artist in residence at the Saltonstall Foundation, Cob x PLOP Residency, Vermont Studio Center, DNA Residency, Nes Artist Residency, and CAI Projects. In 2022, she was a finalist for the Innovate Grant and in 2021 she was shortlisted for the Hopper Prize. She has curated exhibitions at Open House and the 2018, 2019 and 2021 SPRING/BREAK Art Shows.
“Colorful and playful shapes recall memories of growing up outside of a rural town on the West Coast. My paintings are abstract, but they also reference landscapes. Living in this geographical area was as serene as it was isolating. It wasn’t until the age of 18 that I visited my first art museum. Unaware of the categories of “art” and “craft,” I eagerly absorbed multiple mediums, including painting, wood carving, quilting, ceramics and architecture.
“Within these various art forms lie elements of design, and today I utilize these early design lessons in my work. I have received degrees in painting, installation and sculpture, and I am interested in the convergence of these mediums. I study how design and rhythm work to direct the eye through everyday life. I’m also interested in body language, the things that we don’t say verbally, but that the positioning of our body reveals for us.
“When I’m working on a composition, I think about how the shapes talk to each other, how they relate and what the space between them reveals. I’m curious how the mind puts together symbols and creates stories. My handmade stretchers serve as a structure to support these ideas, providing a stage for paint to act out dramas and share allegories.”
Kenote’s work will be in a slew of upcoming shows over the next couple months in both hemispheres that you should try to check out, including Fir Gallery in Beijing, Duran Mashaal Gallery in Toronto, Good Mother Gallery in Oakland, California, SOIL Gallery in Seattle, and closer to home, a group exhibition opening Nov. 10 at Hollis Taggart Gallery’s Southport, Connecticut, location.