QUECHEE, VT / ACCESSWIRE / September 15, 2021 / For Colleen Kilbreath, Veteran’s Day will start a little earlier this year. It will also last a little longer.
The artist wants to honor veterans and their service through her upcoming art show. The exhibit, which will run from October to December, features portraits of five veterans in both watercolor and clay. Aiming to find the spirit of these soldiers, the Vermont-based artist stresses realism while examining the rivaling portrayals of this reality in other forms of the media.
This idea for the exhibition originated while at Colby-Sawyer College. Going back to school to pursue a second undergraduate degree, Colleen Kilbreath is studying both self-design and studio art majors. She will graduate this fall. But, it’s here that she really began exploring depictions of American lives. Combined with her love of literature, she works to expose the contradictions in biographies, memoirs, short stories, and other written works.
Her inspiration for this specific show is rooted in her relationship with her late father. A marine during the Vietnam War, her father encouraged her to also join the armed forces. While she ultimately chose a different path, Colleen Kilbreath felt an urge to understand more about her father and his military experience after he passed away. Wanting to connect with him in this way, the artist dove into documentaries, books, and even sought the advice of historical societies. Her curiosity grew into a passion that is displayed today through her art.
This manifests in the portraits she creates. For her, portraits provide an opportunity to learn from the masters while detailing accurate, unembellished views on contemporary life. Rejecting imagination and idealization, she instead chooses to embrace realism by creating likenesses in her work.
Colleen Kilbreath believes the best way to achieve this is through sculpture. Concentrating on sculpture at Colby-Sawyer, she is drawn to this medium because clay exudes accuracy and intimacy. In addition, clay has been historically preferred for portraits because of its durability over time. Hoping to continue to expand her skills, the artist has also attended workshops led by renowned sculptors who use wax, porcelain, stone, and bronze.
Her exhibition will also feature watercolors. Colleen Kilbreath incorporates transparent and arbitrary colors to tell a unique story. As she experiments with these, her artistry has been improving. Adding multiple layers and alternating between warm and cool are both techniques prominently on display in her latest work.
Partially funded through a grant from her college, Colleen Kilbreath and her portraits of veterans will be showcased at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center starting next month.
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SOURCE: Colleen Kilbreath
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