Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique  discovering  thesis and processes behind the work.








September 2017



For September, artists Richard W. James, Kirk Jenkins, and Kate Zimmer, discuss their practice with Olivia Ramos.

Jenkins in conversation with Ramos

Zimmer in conversation with Ramos


Richard W. James


Richard W. James is from rural Tennessee and received his B.F.A. from The University of Tennessee at Martin in 2001. For 8 years he ran his own pottery studio until 2010-2012 when he attended Indiana University as a special student to pursue his interest in sculpture. Richard received his M.F.A. in ceramics from The University of Kansas in May 2016. He has been a 2015 summer artist-in-resident at Zhenrutang in Jingdezhen, China and a long-term 2016-17 resident artist at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN.  He is currently a long-term artist in residence at the Archie Bray Foundation.




Kirk Jenkins


Artist Kirk Jenkins; was born and raised in the surf side town of Cronulla, Australia; located in the south of Sydney. He was born to mixed European parents who traveled the world as gypsies. From a young age, Kirk was exposed to a rich melting pot of cultures; including a well-rounded selection of music, food, sports, art, and the outdoors. He took a keen interest in collecting, what some people would call junk, creating all kinds of sculptures and objects; intertwining the raw materials from around local streets.


Kirk was, and has always been, very much a hunter gatherer; He finds a peace, connectivness, and sense of meaning in the environment and outside world; a language, a freedom, and a raw beauty that cannot be matched or found in the man made world.


The materials that he works with; embody a richness, depth, history and aesthetic quality that could only be acquired from a long life of exposure and intense interaction with natures vast array of climates, processes and elements. Such as wood, tar, charcoal and metals; which all come directly or indirectly from the same place ( The Earth).


“I was born from the earth and shall one day return to the earth”.  A spiritual cycle that Kirk is very aware and in awe of.


Having grown up in the harsh and often rugged terrains of Australia, infused with a deep affinity, compassion and kinship; with not only the indigenous people of his own country, but those too of his brothers and sisters from far away lands; such as: the native American and African people.


Together with a strong sense of composition, a keen eye for detail, texture, colour, balance and weight; thus driven by an instinct and hunger to explore; that could only be referred to as primal; make up the overall expression and creation of his art.


Kirk’s work have been exhibited in a number shows; In Cities such as Sydney, London, Los Angeles and Miami. The most notable to date being: The Nader, Latin American Art Museum - during Miami art Basel in 2015.




Kate Zimmer


My paintings are visual manifestations of an internal journey made external. I begin a painting with a gestural under-drawing and color that resonates with me that day. As the painting evolves, a conversation begins to take place in which each choice informs the next. This discovery process of starting from one thing and evolving into another is exciting to me.


It is a dialogue that is spontaneous and intuitive, and a kind of self-reflection - like looking in the mirror - and a way of finding my own identity as a painter and a person. Through the use of color and gestural mark-making as a means to show energy and movement, my art seeks to inspire feeling, and at the same time is interesting and beautiful.


My art-making process is very meditative and a means of getting out of my own way and losing myself in a journey where the destination is unknown, yet eventually found. It is a practice of self-discipline, letting go of fear and judgment, and the willingness to step outside my comfort zone.