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Meet Machine Shop Gallery’s Next Artist: Kathryn Gearon

CommCreative is excited to announce Machine Shop Gallery’s newest featured artist, Kathryn Gearon. Kathryn is a painter who will be showcasing eleven paintings in the new Machine Shop Gallery exhibit, Imagined Landscapes. Here are five fast facts about her:

1. She’s been painting for over 20 years

Kathryn started painting as an undergrad at Rhode Island College in 1995. She received her BFA in painting and sculpture from RIC in 2001 and recently graduated with an MFA in painting from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. She has showcased her artwork in Providence, Provincetown, Newport, and Boston among other places throughout New England.

2. Cold wax is her favorite medium to work in

Kathryn enjoys using cold wax for its consistency and malleability. It is also very versatile and is often paired with graphite and oil paint in her work. She uses dry pigment, oil bars, oil sticks, waxes, paper, string, and pigment powders to emphasize texture and create tension and balance in her paintings.

3. Her inspiration comes from her own thoughts and emotions

Kathryn is deeply fascinated with industrial landscapes, and she uses reconstructed industrial images such as trucks, trains, and broken building windows in her paintings. However, her work is also imaginative and dreamlike. She often plays with light and color, demonstrating her thoughts and emotions about the world around her. She says she is in love with art, but creates it for herself. Unlike other artists, she’s mostly influenced by internal factors and emotions rather than by exterior, societal issues like religion or politics.  

4. She does more than just painting

Aside from making art, Kathryn and her partner run a beauty salon known as Suite Tart. The salon, located in Providence, Rhode Island, provides hair, nail, waxing, and other beauty treatments while also serving as an art and photography studio. She contributes by making sets and managing the company’s projects, while her partner helps with the photography aspect. Her artwork, along with fashion photography and artwork of other local artists, is displayed there.

In addition to running Suite Tart, Kathryn has worked multiple other jobs to support her work as an artist. In the twelve-year gap between college and grad school, she worked as a caretaker, and she currently works part-time as a research librarian at Brown University.

5. A Piece of Advice

“When I was getting ready to graduate from college, one of my art professors told me that not every painting will work and you have to be prepared to succeed and prepared to fail. It’s important not to be afraid to fail because it can be just as scary to succeed as it is to fail. Even if you fail, you still learn something from your failures. Just keep working and the successes and failures will balance out.”