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"Those early childhood moments planted the seeds that my art teachers later tended to, and from there I was able to really grow."

10/5/23

Interviews

"Those early childhood moments planted the seeds that my art teachers later tended to, and from there I was able to really grow."

Artist Kit Porter on learning to paint like Seurat and seeing Starry Night in person.

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Editor's Note: All of us at Children’s Museum of the Arts are deeply saddened to note the passing of Kit Porter, a South Carolina-based painter who contributed artwork to our fundraiser auction last year. Her generosity was noted by staff long after the auction and she will be missed by all of us here in New York City. Click here for more on Kit's life and legacy.


Great artists make artists. And to prove that point, over 70 of today's greatest have contributed their work in support of Children's Museum of the Arts' Emergency Arts Education Fund, establishing utterly ambitious art programs in New York City schools that need them most.


Bidding for the online auction concludes Thursday, October 19 at 12 PM EDT. Bid now. Bid often. Bid here.


Below, meet auction artist Kit Porter.



Kit as a young artist


Do you have a favorite memory of making art as a child?


I love love loved all of my incredibly talented and nurturing art teachers growing up. I remember having my mind blown at the introduction of pointillism, and trying so hard to utilize a new-to-me technique to make the little dots of color (in my case, marker on paper) combine and sing from a distance like Seurat. 


What advice would you give to young artists who wish to pursue an art practice?


Try everything and recognize that everything can be a part of your art practice if it feels good. If drawing feels like a good way to express yourself, go for it. If observing shadows on a sidewalk makes you feel good, that is important too. Recognise what you like, what excites you, and just create because it is making your life feel better. 


How does working with children inspire you?


As a mother, I am constantly inspired by the way my children see the world. I cherish the comments they make about colors, shapes, sounds, and textures in nature. I love seeing them draw simply whatever they are thinking about – the ability to create work from within their mind and heart, sans visual reference, is incredibly inspiring.


When did you first know you were going to be an artist?


My interest in art was certainly nurtured as a child by my mom. But I think perhaps it was my childhood best friend's mother, a painter, who made me aware that art could be pursued as a profession. I remember wandering into her studio as a child and just being consumed by her colors and smells. Those early childhood moments planted the seeds that my art teachers later tended to, and from there I was able to really grow.


Can you describe a formative experience visiting a museum or gallery?


Seeing Van Gogh’s Starry Night in person was an absolutely transformative experience for me, and it was the moment I started looking at art differently. I could picture the artist himself standing in front of this once blank canvas and stroke-by-stroke creating this image that now existed before me. Although I had looked at this painting a zillion times in print, this moment in real life truly changed me.


Kit Porter 

fragmented floral, night 1 

oil pigment stick on linen

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Noormah Jamal at Children's Workshop School

Directional Coloring

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