One woman’s artistic journey through the pandemic lockdowns all the way through the end of 2022 is on display at the Sugar Hill Art Gallery now through Feb. 23, 2023.
That woman is Buford High School art teacher, Kim Barge. The exhibition titled “Consumption” is a collection of artwork from a two-year period beginning at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic through 2022.
“My series is about man taking over nature,” says Barge. “It started during Covid when I was home quarantined and stressed. I painted flowers to calm my mind. The series then turned to man taking over or consuming nature.”
One day, Barge was driving through downtown Sugar Hill and happened to see the Sugar Hill Art Gallery. Curious, Barge decided to stop and visit the gallery. She found out about opportunities for artists to be featured in the art gallery prompting her to apply online to be a featured artist.
While Barge has previously submitted individual pieces to be put on display in local art shows, this is her first solo exhibition.
The works of art in the exhibition feature realistic floral acrylic paintings, as well as abstract pieces made from India ink and paper cuttings.
The artwork is part of a collection Barge has been creating for her Master’s of Fine Art degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) that she is currently working to obtain.
“This current degree has really pushed me creatively to break out of my box and try new styles of painting,” Barge says of working to earn her MFA from SCAD. “I am able to pass my skills on to my students. While it is stressful teaching full time and working on this degree, it is also very rewarding.”
Barge has been teaching art at Buford High School for nine years. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Art degree in Textiles as she concentrated her talents on painting on silk fabric. Barge then obtained her Master of Art degree in Art education and now is working towards her MFA.
The exhibition “Consumption” by Kim Barge runs from Jan. 10 to Feb. 23 with a reception on Feb. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sugar Hill Art Gallery, 5010 W. Broad St in Sugar Hill. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. For additional information about the Sugar Hill Art Gallery, call 678-541-6125 or visit the Sugar Hill Arts Commission website at SugarHillArts.com.
FEATURED PHOTO: Local artist and high school art teacher, Kim Barge is the featured artist for the Sugar Hill Art Gallery through Feb. 23, 2023. Photo courtesy of Kim Barge.