katie runnels

The Constant Gatherer

Kathy P. Thompson (my favorite artist and mentor) and her brilliant Hboxes!

"artists", "f", "mixed media", "my town", "vintage"Katie Runnels1 Comment
If you've read my blog or guest blogs for some time you may have previously read about my dear friend, artist and designer, Kathy P. Thompson. She was gracious enough to share her home with readers on Design*Sponge for my guest series of posts on the women artists who have shaped my artistic career and lifestyle.  Kathy has been in the process of developing a new business- Hboxes (H short for History) and has created a fantastic website to share her concept.

Meet Kathy P. Thompson...
I described a bit about how I came to know Kathy in my D*S post...please read here if you missed it! but I'd like to share more with you now as I feel it has been a long time coming for me to share her work and the profound influence she's had in my life.

Self-Portrait by Kathy P. Thompson
Kathy has been creating self-portraits for most of her career. My earliest style of painting was an attempt to work in a similar style...my apologies, Kathy! All I can explain is that I was young and InSpiRed! Kathy never let on if it bothered her that I was so under her influence- a little copycat!-and let me slowly figure out my own style as I developed. She in fact invited me to exhibit in  my very first group show in her downtown studio. Kathy ignited a fire in my heart that I badly needed since leaving my first college experience after three semesters following a serious meltdown. (I'll spare you the details!)
Kathy in her downtown Fayetteville studio-where I first took classes from her and discovered the bountiful and magical magpie qualities of mixed media artist's studio.  The sight of it makes my heart sing!

 Hbox by Kathy Thompson
Kathy has been a "constant gatherer" since her childhood and her work, even her paintings contain a very object-oriented quality. She moves effortlessly between found object assemblage and sculpture, mixed media painting, and ceramic painting on molded platters and bowls and tile installations. I know Kathy's example gave me the independence to work in the same spirit.

The Hboxes above are installed at The Fayetteville Arkansas Public Library.  Kathy also designed the Library's Cafe and several other locations for the towns favorite neighborhood coffee and pastry house, Arsagas! (click on the images to enlarge!!)

Kathy's latest venture, Hboxes is- I believe- a culmination of her life's work and natural inclination to  collect and assemble the meaningful minutia of life by thoughtfully arranging the pieces in a new order that agrees to her sensibilities, and thereby developing a new understanding or appreciation. Only this time, it occurred to her that she could preserve the treasures of others so that they may enjoy and find comfort in their preservation, rather than allowing them to be lost in attics or the shuffle of everyday life.

Kathy's hands. In addition to my own mother's... I cherish and miss these hands dearly! Here she is creating a box to celebrate a couple's recent wedding using the bride's dried winter berry arrangement.

Views of Kathy's bustling studio.

These illuminated installations are two in the series of Kathy's original idea for Hboxes. Kathy embedded them in the walls as part of her incredible interior design for Fayetteville's most exquisite Italian restaurant, Bordino's(see image below). Don't miss this spot if you find yourself in Northwest Arkansas! View more interior shots of the space and the Hboxes on Bordino's website.

Interior Shot of Bordino's Dining Room Hboxes installation.

Kathy beginning construction on an Hbox.

Watch Kathy's video introduction to her Hboxes Series...
The filmmaker- Archetype Productions- together with photographer M Taylor Long did a beautiful job capturing Kathy's aesthetic and demeanor and the spirit of the Hboxes.

Kathy never boasts about her credentials but I've always been impressed and intrigued by her accomplishments as a female studio artist. I'm waiting for her to create another website that catalogs her thirty years of creations-no pressure, Kathy! I'll be sure to let you know when that's available! xo
Visit Hboxes website to get more details to commission Kathy for your very own personal work of art!