Kim Rhoney

Born: Ann Arbor, Michigan 1964

Education: BFA, Eastern Michigan University 2000

I returned to EMU in the '90s to obtain the degree that I intended to get back in the '80s. As a first-generation college student from a working-class family, picking fine art as a major seemed impractical. Even my college counselor dissuaded me from pursuing fine art or art education because I had “strong math and science scores and art students and teachers aren’t getting jobs.”. My journey passed through business school and a career in hospitality marketing. That life experience gave me the confidence to refocus on my goals. Returning to EMU to fulfill a dream was the absolute best investment in myself.

After finishing my BFA, it was my farmgirl roots and regained rural lifestyle that became the inspiration for my work. Avoiding solvents and toxic mediums changed my process to incorporate painting knives as tools. Next, I discovered cold wax as a medium and it was a game changer. The ability to layer, scumble, carve, scrape and sgraffito with oil paints made painting more fun and nuanced.

In the early years of marketing my work, I relied on a blog and gallery representation for people to find me. A few economic upheavals and a worldwide pandemic made this artist self-reliant on my revenue stream. A website, social media channels, digital mailing list, and juried art fairs such as the Ann Arbor Art Fair and Art Birmingham provide the exposure needed to support my work.

Making art and living are one now. I am excited and hopeful for what is ahead.

Artist Statement

Nature, agriculture, and rural landscapes continue to inspire the subjects of my work. Memories of growing up on a small farm, a love for growing things, and northern Michigan camping trips with my family provide a rich source of visual imagery that is nostalgic and serene. Revisiting series that surround these themes provides markers in my process and product as a fine artist and process becomes my mode of evolution. Color, form, and surface attended to in layers convey a sense of what has always been and at the same time, what is becoming.