Minneapolis is a hub for artists of all kinds. Kate Renee, an acrylic painter, is a hidden gem amongst them. Her paintings, all done on 30×40 birch boards, can be seen as the unique touch, the corresponding art world needs. Intrigued by her artistic style, I sat down with Renee in her studio on the Artblok and reminisced on the process that takes place, while bringing a painting to life, as well as her recent and distinctive pieces displayed at Gamut Gallery-7 Sins-which is her second solo exhibit since Beauties Behaving Badly.
Renee was inspired by a critical response at Gamut Gallery after her first solo show. Feedback from the audience, as well as creative insight jumpstarted the ideas in her head, of three dimensional painting along with the seven sins. “It all started coming together. They were all separate ideas. I started off with the GluttHoney piece (portrayed by Winnie the Pooh). That was the experiment to see if the 3D worked.” After the success her gluttony piece, Renee simply ran with it. “I just went for it, all the way, which was a big gamble, but it worked!”
Renee’s character choices for portraying the seven sins were a process as well. Coming off of her previous exhibit, Beauties Behaving Badly, which featured all princess and fairytale characters, she felt like she needed to veer away from princess work. “I thought I could expand and include other characters.” These characters include: Queen of Hearts, Mike Teavee and The Wicked Witch of the West. For these pieces, Renee wanted to keep her inspiration drawn from her previous works, while making the 7 Sins relevant to today’s society, by using pop culture, which lead her to the characters she painted. One of the sins, vanity is portrayed by a Kim Kardashian-meets- Barbie character, which brings the addiction of pride to life. All paintings also include seven layers of paint, known as what Renee calls “hidden sevens,” to represent the pieces’ title, 7 Sins.
Renee found herself at Gamut Gallery through the annual show, C4W: Open Call for Work. “I applied on a whim. They took a couple pieces and I sold something!” After that, Gamut wanted to show her work in some capacity. She participated in a duo show. Soon after, Jade Patrick, director of Gamut Gallery, came to Renee’s studio and asked for the 7 Sins, personally. The entire series took her about a year and a half to create. Her exhibit has since then closed at Gamut Gallery, but Renee will be participating in an open studio event November 18-20th, where you can view her and other local artist’s work, get some holiday shopping in and visit all the food trucks. To view past works of Kate Renee, you can visit her website at http://katerenee.com/. To view upcoming exhibits at Gamut Gallery, which is located across the street from Kingsriter building, on campus, visit http://www.gamutgallerympls.com/.
Artblok Open Studio and Sale
2010 East Hennepin Avenue,
Minneapolis, MN 55413