Artist Statement for ‘The World Went On’

I hate writing artist statements. But, I realize they are necessary. I’ve spent quite a bit of time helping and encouraging others to work on and work out their statements in the last few years via workshops and one-on-one coaching, but taking my own advice hasn’t made it any easier.

That said, this one came pretty easily. I do believe it makes a difference when the work you’re writing about makes a difference to you. So, for those who can’t make it to my opening tonight, or those who can and want to read it again, what follows is the artist statement for The World Went On

The World Went On – paintings on canvas by Indianapolis native Kate Oberreich.

The common thread that links us to humanity at times binds us to islands of isolation. View one woman’s story on canvas, as she eloquently translates a journey at the borders of a world she perceives has gone on without her. In this, she asks the viewer to examine connectedness, disconnectedness and the surprise between.

In March 2011, I found myself without a job for the first time since I was fourteen years old. As someone who was entirely used to balancing multiple jobs at one time (in recent years, I’ve had as many as four at once), it was a strange experience to have none. My goal was of course to search out new employment, but also to spend my new found free time working in the studio. Both proved harder than I thought. While I was fortunate enough to find part time employment within a month, I found that I lacked any creative drive and, for a time, contemplated closing my studio.

Feeling somewhat isolated, I spent the better part of a year polishing my resume, going to interviews (seventeen in ten months), trying to paint something worthwhile and getting all too familiar with daytime television. I watched others live their lives going to and from work, unable to make plans because they had to work and complaining about work. The world went on without me.

It wasn’t until I finally got back to work in January 2012 that I began to create meaningful artwork again (at least to me). As the prequel to what I hope will become a much larger show at a later date The World Went On is what’s come out of a year of longing, loneliness, disconnectedness and the hope that comes with new employment and a better sense of place. Maybe you’ve been there, too?

 Kate received her BFA in painting in 2005 at Ball State University (Muncie, IN) and is a 2006 Stutz Studio Resident and 2008 Beckmann Emerging Artist Fellow. She has worked for and with multiple Indianapolis-based arts organizations and corporations.

In addition to her work as an artist and at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Kate keeps busy with projects that include social media coaching for fellow artists and managing her new studio, Seed & Star. Her combination of painting with drawing, collage and other materials often reflects rich personal journeys and experiences.