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Member Spotlight: June

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KIM RIVERA

www.kimarivera.com

instagram.com/kim.a.rivera

“Becoming a resident artist was the catalyst for my artistic endeavors.”

What made you want to join Art Gym? I joined Art Gym in the fall of 2021 when I took on a printmaking commission. When I moved to Denver in 2019, I was looking for a way back into a print studio but had to wait until after the pandemic. Before Art Gym, I was printing relief prints by hand at my kitchen table and was ready to get back into a studio to use presses and begin screen printing again. After the pandemic, I decided to take on a big screen printing commission. The project was nothing like I’ve done previously, and I knew if I wanted to make the deadline, I needed to force myself back into a studio space, printing routine, and ultimately, a membership at Art Gym.

How has Art Gym helped with your art practice? Shortly after becoming a member, I was encouraged to apply for the Create Award Residency and became a resident from 2021-22. Becoming a resident artist was the catalyst for my artistic endeavors. Since 2021, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in Denver’s Month of Printmaking in 2022 and 2024 as an artist and volunteer, teach workshops at the Art Gym and Art Students League of Denver, work on commissions for Denver’s City Park Farmers Market and CU Boulder, and participate in the Colorado Business Committee for the Art’s Advancing Creative Intensive. Without having access to the Art Gym and the networks I’ve been able to build here, I can confidently say I wouldn’t be where I am today in my artistic career.

What are you hoping to communicate through your work? As an artist, I hope my work communicates a narrative to the viewer while simultaneously creating an opportunity where people who might not have anything seemingly in common can connect. I hope the work can resonate with the individual and stir up memories or hold some level of sentiment through the playful movement or complexity of the linework. I hope my work also challenges the viewer to be present with the art and become curious about the story behind the image, whether through simple botanical compositions or specific snapshots of landmarks.

Who and/or what are some of your biggest artistic influences? Some of my biggest artistic influences come from traveling, people I’ve met, and my faith upbringing. Traveling inspires me because there are endless opportunities to encounter beauty and adventure, meet new people, and experience new cultures. The various printmakers, artists, and creatives I’ve met in recent years inspire me to continuously learn, try new artistic endeavors, and push myself to grow as an artist. Finally, my faith upbringing has created opportunities for me to travel and encounter parts of the world I never imagined seeing while also challenging me to be more contemplative about my art and shape the intention and emotions I hope my work conveys.

What does your artwork mean to you? When I think of what my artwork means to me, I immediately see it as a reminder of who I am. When I see my work, I see snapshots of memories and experiences, intertwining stories and influences. My art reminds me of who I am, my passions, hard work, intentionality, and the curious playfulness I see in the world.