Katie Kehoe_projects








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I work predominantly in performance, interdisciplinary sculpture and drawing and often incorporate installation, site-specificity, duration, photography and video as defining artistic elements. A commitment to engagement and sustainability form the basis of my creative practice and I value how absurdity can be used as a catalyst for interaction. In light of our climate changing, I have growing uncertainty and deep concerns for what the future holds, which is reflected in my recent work.

I was raised in Cape Breton, NS and am currently living in Washington, D.C. and Toronto, ON. In 2011, I completed my MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore, MD where I also earned a Certificate in College Teaching; and prior to that studied Interactive Art and Technology at the Canadian Film Center Media Lab in Toronto, ON, took classes as a non-degree student at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, ON, and earned a BA Hons in International Development and a Major in English, graduating with distinction (cum laude) from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS. Upon graduating with my MFA, I was awarded runner up for the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship - the largest award offered to a graduating MFA student at MICA and The Alumni Award for Leadership given my initiative in conceiving and coordinating a monthly salon series that served to unify the graduate community.

I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to show my work widely across Canada and the US and been reviewed by critics such as Becky Hunter in Art Papers Magazine, Eames Armstrong in Performa Magazine and Gary Michael Dault (Canada's leading art critic at the time) in The Globe and Mail; exhibition highlights include: The Contemporary Museum, Guest Spot Galleryand School 33 in Baltimore, MD; Norte Maar Gallery in Brooklyn, NY; Emerge Art Fair and Hillyer Art Space, in Washington, DC; Free Fall Festival and The LiveArt Series in SummerWorks Festival in Toronto, CAN. Outside of grad school, I've had two solo shows, at Verso Gallery and Type Books Gallery in Toronto, ON and have produced a number of duration based performance actions. In 2013 I was selected as an Untapped Emerging Artist to present at The Artist Project – a contemporary art fair in Toronto, ON, and recently was awarded a Visual Artists: Emerging Project Grant from the Ontario Arts Council and The Fleur and Charles Bresler Artist Residency from VisArtsin Rockville, MD. In 2013 I co-conceived and launched the nomadic gallery, Present Junction with a Toronto colleague, Julia Burton (who formerly operated Park Gallery on Queen St. West). Present Junction Gallery is still in operation, although Julia and I have taken a break in the last year to focus on our independent work (www.presentjunction.com). And this fall, began teaching part-time in The Department of Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University and in The Photography Department at George Mason University.

With further respect to my work - this past summer, during the Bresler Residency, I started a new body of work entitled, Provisions for Buoyancy and was working with materials I salvaged locally from dumpsters etc. to create a series of provisions – such as a life jacket, a life ring, bodyboards, a paddle board etc. I then used these devices as props in performance actions that involved my walking for extended periods while carrying or wearing a provision for buoyancy through parts of Washington, D.C. that would be flooded with a sea level rise of five feet. I intend to develop this project further.

This recent body of work is informed by my earlier projects, PIER / Platforms in the Southwest, PIER: Toronto, and One Year and Twenty-Four Days of Fishing. For PIER / Platforms, I traveled through the Southwest of the USA for 60 days, salvaging materials, building a pier and installing it in unconventional locations that ranged from remote, desert areas, to dense, urban centers. While the first three weeks of the project were driven to cultivate opportunities for collaborating with other artists and interact with the public, the latter five weeks, consisted mostly of me working independently, traveling through very remote areas, camping and installing the pier in deserts. During the 60 days, I produced over twenty-five desert installations and a handful of urban installations, documenting each widely with photo, video and journaling; while, during the installation phase, the pier functioned literally as a platform for reflecting and conversing on the themes related to water, now, after the fact, the documentation functions as a visual poem and metaphor. For Pier: Toronto, I installed a pier in 7 locations along Queen Street West, sitting on it at each location for eight hours a day, treating it as a platform for exchange and documenting the interactions I had with people. Pier: Torontowas created in/for the LiveArt Series at SummerWorks Festival in 2014 and was noted by Torontoist as one of their favorites in the festival. For One Year and Twenty-Four Days of Fishing, I carried a fishing rod and wore rubber boots everywhere for over a year. The fishing rod was the catalyst that prompted spontaneous reactions from people, who, more often than not, were random strangers and at times, conversations that began with the fishing rod ended hours later, building a sense of connectedness between strangers.

Meanwhile, the subject matter of my work is most distilled in my 2D practice, where I experiment with a range of media to draw or apply the word “AND” repeatedly in various styles. By treating “AND” as a mode of expression and structural too, I create pieces that are at once reductive, formal and conceptual. For me, this syllable, this word, represents connectedness and by drawing it through processes of repetition, overlap, magnification and distortion, I investigate the nature of form and language as constructions that may just as well function as a converging point and meeting place.

*image top left: Provisions for Buoyancy: Group Performance Action with Life Jackets at Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, Washington, DC (July 2017); Photographed by: Susanna Lee

*image welcome page: Provisions for Buoyancy: Performance Action with Bodyboard at East Potomac Park, DC (August, 2017); Photographed by: Susanna Lee