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FEATURED
ARTIST

March & April 

Kamara Marsh  

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ARTIST OPENHOUSE Reception

Friday, March 1

 

5:00 to 6:30 PM

NOTES FROM THE ARTIST

My name is Kamara (Kami) Marsh and I am Michigan made and grew up in a small town South of Lansing. I've been creating since I was old enough to hold a pencil. My first mural drawn by crayon on my bedroom wall around the age of 3 or 4. Although, not well received by my parents at the time :) My mom recalls me as a child drawing pictures of hurting and bandaged people, which is ironic because I later became a therapist specializing in trauma.

I went from crayons to painting acrylic landscapes at 13. I was invited to lead the painting of a community mural at the county fairgrounds at 17, which gained world recognition. After high school, I enrolled in the art program at Lansing Community College, and later received an Associates Degree in Illustration. I drew photographic likenesses of both people and animals in my 20's and my medium of choice became pencil, charcoal, and ink.

Life took a different path for me and I ended up a single mom in 1996. In 1998, I was told my son he had special needs. I decided to return to school to pursue my bachelor's degree with the hopes of some day getting a graduate degree and becoming a therapist. In 1999, I suffered from a head injury that left my dominant hand partially paralyzed. 

 

Thinking my art career was finished, I stopped creating altogether for almost two decades. However, I didn't drop out of school, as challenging as it was to continue. In spite of having to virtually learn to read and write again, I still finished graduate school top of my class and went on to work in a rehabilitation center helping people with brain injuries like myself. In 2007, I wrote, illustrated and published a book on overcoming loss and later ran my own private counseling practice out of East Lansing.

In 2016, I returned to acrylic painting again, only this time using a sponge instead of a paintbrush. I created a unique abstract style, which I still use today. While on vacation in Northern Michigan in 2018, I tried my hand at seascapes while at the beach and being very inspired by the beauty of Lake Huron. I finished two small seascapes in less than one hour and they sold on the spot that day!

I decided to move to Alpena, the place I now call home in 2019. I've continued painting acrylics: abstracts, landscapes, and seascapes. One of the paintings I am most proud of enables the viewer to enjoy it with all 5 of their senses. I also love creating commissioned pieces for individuals and being able to translate someone else's idea onto canvas. It is both challenging and rewarding at the same time.

In October of 2021, I lost my one and only sibling. At that point, art became therapy for me. I returned to painting murals and painted one in my backyard in memory of my sister Kimberly. Another part of my healing has been getting involved in my community and helping others work through their grief of losing a loved one. I have been trained in art therapy and love combining the two gifts given to me of creating and helping others. I hope to some day become certified and run art therapy groups out of my loft studio.

I have participated in Art in the Loft's yearly juried show for the past six years. This has really brought me out of my artistic comfort zone and developed my style as well as improved my skills as an artist. I have also ventured out into various mediums including working with metal and wood. My piece entitled "Emerald Rain" won an honorable mention in 2021. My my piece entitled "Touch the World" won 3rd place in 2022. My piece entitled "Hope Arises"not only won an honorable mention, but also won the People's Choice Award as well.

My favorite part of being an artist is seeing other people enjoy my artwork. I plan to spend the rest of my life leaving my "print" on Northern Michigan and the rest of the world one person, one piece at a time :)

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