Local Hero: Kim Webb, Artist & Teacher
Why are the intersections of food and art, nature and people so inspiring to you?
Food and art are catalysts that bring people together and nature is the glue that binds everything. The spaces in between allow for great possibility, experimentation and investigation. I am interested in ways of dissolving these as categories and building an immersive practice of intention that includes them all, a creative practice of being.
How does the practice of art inform your own practice of living?
I believe the struggles and contemplations of an artist should be applied to all practices. I attempt to exercise the same thoughtfulness and intentional approach of making art in my life. This allows me keep an open mind, think more critically, take risks, see more objectively and find meaning and playfulness in the everyday. Teaching a class, organizing an exhibition, curating a series of conversations, building a community garden, having a dinner party, walking, can all be creative projects. I try to navigate in the unknown as often as I am able and subject myself to vulnerability in order to foster personal growth. Keep it fresh and weird! The medium often shifts and my work usually involves heavy research, creative sourcing of materials and lots of experimentation. I am currently working on some exciting collaborations with Capital City Crossroads Special Improvement District, Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD), Hertz Group and COTA that will integrate creative projects into the day-to-day in downtown Columbus. The spaces, people, activities and experiences will all become the work. Stay tuned…
What food issues are most important to your work right now?
Food as medicine, food as alchemy, food as life. Accessibility—everyone deserves real, clean food grown without harmful chemicals. Food brings us together, inspiring discussions and generating new perceptions and understandings. I am building future projects with CCAD’s Sustainability Committee, developing integrations with the cafeteria on food, gardening, composting and unconventional education. This programming will empower students to think about how food matters. Together we will be making collective meals and using this foundation to invite others to participate in community conversations, performances, sharing skills and stories.
What is your mission as an artist and a teacher?
It’s the same as my mission as a human—finding meaning, purpose, truth—playfully, collectively. I think it’s important that art challenges conformities and disrupts the status quo. I’m interested in the unconventional—this can be ways of living, thinking, building and educating. Sometimes this is done through considering spaces and intervening in ways that stimulate a pause, challenge behavior and perceptions. Much of my inspiration is drawn from chance, the states of things often held together by tension and vulnerability, moments of absurdity. I strive to continue contemplating, experimenting and to inspire others to keep it interesting.
Learn more about Kim and her work at kimberlymwebb.com