by Neil King
Success for a student artist happens in more places that the halls of college and the walls of the classroom. At just 19 years old, sophomore Kate Luce knows that well. That is why she is starting to have exhibitions of her work out in the community.
“I’ve been part of group exhibitions ever since high school, but this is my first solo show, which is exciting,” Luce says. “There will be self-portraits, I seem to do a lot of those, some drawings, prints, some fabric sculptures, and maybe some t-shirts.”
Her self-portraits, she explains, are a showing of her biggest inspiration: Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
“Frida Kahlo had this vulnerability with her self-portraits that I really respect. She also was open about, focused on, femininity, and that really appeals to me. I try do that in my work, to be open, vulnerable, honest about what is happening. Sometimes it’s dark,” Luce says laughing. “I have to tell people, ‘I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m getting it out.’”
That darkness that her art often carries combined with the fact that she often includes plants in her works—another probable inspiration from Kahlo—is where she came up with The Mind of a Jungle Demon, the name of her exhibition.
She earned herself her first solo exhibition over a cup of coffee with the owner of a local java house.
“I went into Quality Beet, because that’s one of the few places you can get vegan milk in my area, and ended up talking to the owner for a while,” Luce says. “After we talked about art and business and stuff, we started to chat what an exhibition would be like there, and he asked me if I would want to do an exhibition. It was exciting.”
Luce’s artistic talents won’t be the only ones on display at the opening. There will also be two musical acts: one local, Mrey, and one from Chicago, Emily Jane Powers.
The Mind of a Jungle Demon opens at Quality Beet in Michigan City, Ind., with festivities starting at 5 p.m. (CST).