CONVERSATION WITH KIM FAY
Name: Kim Fay
Years in Detroit: 43
Working as an Artist: 24 years
Preferred Medium: Paint/mixed on canvas
What is currently your favorite:
Work of Art: Can't come up with only one artist let alone one piece.
Piece of Advice: Do what you love and the money will follow. Dad.
Do you collect anything? Not really. My contemporaries' work. I have a few small Buddhas. I don't intentionally acquire things. I like to live lean.
Was there an artist you admired that inspired you to be an artist yourself?
The New York Abstract Expressionists. Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning drew me in but it's Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell that influence my direction now.
Is there a particular local artist whose work you admire?
I admire my entire community. There is so much talent here. It's difficult to single out any one artist. But if you're forcing me to choose, I think Sue Carman-Vian has one of the most creatively nimble minds I've ever run across.
What themes do you tend to pursue in your work?
Maps and travel. Years ago I did a lot of backpacking, river trips, etc. When you're that far off the grid, you have to be precise in your packing. Pouring over the maps, especially topography maps, aids in those decisions. I love the lines, edges of landmasses, bodies of water. I enjoy imagining what the landscape looks like, smells like. The anticipation of the trip is as much fun as the trip itself.
Where are you finding inspiration lately? Life is in one of those tricky spots and I'm having to dig deep. I have been out to Cranbrook a couple times for some trees and fountains, but it's pretty much an inside job at the moment. Begging the Universe to mercifully rain down some fairy dust so the work comes out all right.
Is there a single habit you strongly believe contributes to your success as an artist? Hustle. A girl's gotta eat.
How do you feel about the art market/scene in Detroit? Have you seen a shift in the last few years?
The Detroit art community has blown up with an international spotlight, which is thrilling. The challenge is creating enough economic support to continue to expand that growth. As the Detroit area recovers from financial collapse, what I'd like to see is more patronage from our own backyard.
What are you looking forward to most about the upcoming exhibition?
It's a nice cross-section of makers. I'm interested in how these works relate to each other. My work is a newer incarnation of my maps and charts series. I'm looking forward to feedback. Or maybe not . . .
What one item would you grab if your house was on fire?
Without hesitation it would be items from my Gramps' time on the University of Michigan football team. He played on two national championship teams and was the Captain of the 1933 team. I have hand-drawn plays, letters from Coach Kipke, his letterman's sweater and hat. They're not all in one place, I'd have to scramble, but I would. There's a letter my Dad wrote to me when I got married. Think I'd have to grab that, too.