Home > Art, Old Market, Omaha, Omaha Magic Theatre, Sora Kimberlain > Old Market-based artist Sora Kimberlain: A life in art

Old Market-based artist Sora Kimberlain: A life in art


By now I have met many artists and while I make no claims to be one myself it’s pretty apparent to me that creatives more or less share a core set of traits in common, so much so that when I visit an artist’s studio I usually feel right at home there, even if they do sculpture or painting or make music as opposed to what I do, which is journalism.  There’s a process in each form or medium and the workspace, which may double as a living space, as in my case, is an assemblage of the tools and ideas and falsestarts and finished products that are a part of that process.  One of the artists whose studios I visited is Sora Kimerlain, and her spaces perfectly reflect her life in art.
 Modern Arts Midtown
Sora Kimberlain, ©photo by minorwhitestudios
Old Market-based artist Sora Kimberlain: A life in art
©by Leo Adam Biga
Originally appeared in Encounter Magazine

Painter, drawer, sculptor, installation artist Sora Kimberlain visited Omaha in the early 1980s. The kindred spirits she met here convinced her to stay.

The Cincinnati native lived in Calif. then. The fresh-from-art-school bohemian came to see an Omaha friend and soon got swept up by Megan Terry and Jo Ann Schmidman and their experimental Omaha Magic Theatre.

For years Kimberlain helped create touring, multi-media, performance art-theater pieces that broke the Fourth Wall. The OMT has since closed, but its impact remains.

“Creating the installation pieces in the theater is really altering a space. Sometimes I see that influence come out in my sculpture work,” she said, referring to her small bronze figures in self-contained environments and convergent, theater-like installations.

Her work often depicts flowing figures interacting with the spaces they inhabit. The figures’ charged presence alters the lived environment around them.

“The moving image, the kinetic part of it, has been a strong piece of who I am going way back to art school,” she said. “My painting has always been more on the expressionistic side, so from the very beginning I was intrigued about the energy of people.”

A new series of paintings captures the ephemeral, effervescent figure in motion.

“It’s kind of a continual inspiration for me, this very kinetic energy, and that basically at our core we’re real electrical beings. I love that, I find it endlessly fascinating.”

She enjoys the physical, tactile experience of making art. Each medium she works in, she said, gives her “a different fuel” for what she wants to express.

On one level or another her work reveals narrative.

“We are the stories written on us and we’re the stories that we give off in that energy,” she said. “If it’s not a tattoo, it’s something else, a scar or something we say or the way we move, it’s something distinct about us. We all have these amazing stories that are kind of intrinsic to who we are. It’s always in flux.”

 

 

The tension of seeking permanence amid life’s fluidity is a new theme of her work.

“I’m really interested right now in the juxtaposition of the things that we think are really lasting in our lives with the impermanence of it all. It’s that thing about, Where are we all going? We take things so seriously sometimes.”

Kimberlain said a work is only truly finished “when somebody engages with it, somebody wants to live with it,” adding, “When they buy it and take it home, the work is complete now, it’s got its home.”

She’s exhibited locally at the Bemis and the RNG Gallery and farther afield in San Francisco, Sicily and Bali.

“A huge passion is seeing other parts of the world,” she said. “Whenever I get that opportunity or luxury, I’m off. I get such inspiration from other cultures.”

As much as she loves “going in and out” of Omaha, what keeps her rooted here is “a lot of great friends,” including her interior design life partner. The longtime downtown resident is “content” with her neighborhood in the shadow of the 10th Street Bridge. She has a studio in her “perfect place” apartment at the historic Bull

Durham Building in the Old Market and a second studio a couple blocks away.

The growing Omaha arts community pleases her. While she doesn’t make much of an income from art, she said, “I try to live true to what I am.”

Visit Sora’s website at www.sorakimberlain.com.

Advertisements
  1. February 3, 2013 at 1:26 am

    What about How to Make a Passive Income from your Art ?

    Like

  1. July 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm
  2. August 4, 2018 at 4:37 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: