Kat Fitzpatrick is an artist whose love for beeswax has led her down an unusual path. Fifteen years ago, Kat saw a tiny reproduction of a painting in an art magazine described as an "encaustic"and was captivated. It had a surface that the eye could penetrate and a remarkable luminosity. Further research revealed encaustic to be an ancient medium(1800 years old) once popular in Egypt, now undergoing a rediscovery by contemporary artists. Kat's newfound passion led to the study of traditional icon writing, backyard beekeeping and to the teaching of workshops around the country. In her 2, 3 and 5-day workshops, beginners as well as seasoned artists have found new creative pathways for personal expression through encaustic techniques.
A daily practice of keeping sunrise/sunset vigils at the seawall at the end of her street has led to her most recent series of paintings. The stillness just before dawn holds the promise of new beginnings. Joining friends at the end of the day for sunset observances rounds out the day in a beautiful and community centered way.
Kat Fitzpatrick balances a busy studio schedule of painting and teaching at Katfish Studio in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi with time on the road throughout the year teaching workshops.
Fitzpatrick's work has been featured on MSNBC's "Rising from Ruin"web series, "Mississippi Roads"(a show profiling artists in MS.), Public Broadcasting's "Southern Expressions", Public Radio Mississippi's "Arts Hour","South Mississippi Living"as well as "Coastal Living" magazine. Kat Fitzpatrick was awarded a Visual Arts Fellowship (2010) from the Mississippi Arts Commission as well as a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation. Most recently, an article profiling her studio and work was featured in the August issue of the national publication "Where Women Create".
Individual and group shows shows have included the Geo Ohr Museum,Biloxi, MS, Tampa Museum of Art, Meridian Museum of Art, Meridian, MS, William Carey University, Hattiesburg,MS, University of New Orleans, Jones County Community College, Ellisville, MS, MS Gulf Coast Community College, Biloxi, MS, The Campbell House, Southern Pines,NC, Serenity Gallery, and the Mockingbird Cafe and Gallery, and Smith&Lens, BSL, the Uptown Gallery and the Garden District Gallery, NOLA, ArtHouse Gallery, Ocean Springs, MS, The Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center, Ocean Springs, MS,, Snowbird Mountain Lodge, Robbinsville, NC, Williams Gallery, Gulfport, MS, Mary C. O'Keefe Gallery, Ocean Springs, The Attic Gallery, Vicksburg, MS, TreeHouse Gallery, Oxford, MS, Gallery Edge, Bay St. Louis, MS, Eastern Shore Art Center, Fairhope, AL.
She is represented by The Caron Gallery in Tupelo, MS and The Mockingbird Cafe in Bay St. Louis, MS
For more information about classes or shows contact:
233 Boardman Avenue
Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
Heaven's Radio- A show about the power of music in the artist's studio
Kat Fitzpatrick at Smith&Lens 10/30 -11/21/15
Time in an artist's studio lurches, rambles, zooms, foxtrots and waltzes. Sometimes it is a turtle's crawl where the flow is almost non-existent. Images feel stagnant, you lose sight of land and founder. This can be a good time to clean brushes and ponder why you ever thought you could live the life of an artist. Every artist I know is on a first name basis with this experience.
Before giving up and doing something else for a while, changing the music can dramatically shift the energy in the room, breathing life and rhythm into an exhausted artist until a second wind is found. Sometimes, just the right song links with your spirit and can be played over and over without tiring. To the music listener, there is no past or future. Mozart can play on a double bill with the Carter Family.
We have all heard a song that has the power to transport us to our 16 year old selves, for whom music was a declaration of who we were... and were not. It was important that our parents not "get it", even better if they hated it. I once hauled a record player to Mexico on a family vacation. I was fourteen and had newly discovered Bob Dylan and could not bear to be parted from listening to him for the 2 weeks we would be gone. My parents had no idea what they were in for. In motel rooms across Texas and Mexico, Bob's voice drove them crazy and made me feel like an insider to something big, something important. It was the music of my generation. My own loyalty to Bob was tested when the change in Mexican electrical current gave his already high voice a boost.
There is an amazing family tree that musicians and artists both roost in. We share a love of the seductive qualities of sound, color, harmonies, lines and the endless possibilities contained in each song or painting. The same song sung by different artists can unlock shadings unfamiliar to the original artist but powerful, nonetheless. An older song that was perfectly in synch with its time, is given new life when it is expressed by a contemporary musician using the language of today. One of my favorite Facebook pastimes is to post the same song as sung by 3 or 4 people and to notice where the juiciness is greatest. This connection can be different for each of us with no clear winner and that is a wonderful mystery to fathom.
Some of the biggest joys in my lifetime have involved music. As a devout Catholic child of the fifties in New Orleans, I learned to sing Gregorian chant and to strip any spontaneity from my voice in service to a trance-like sound that caused eyes to be lifted to the choir loft of Our Lady of Good Counsel. We could lip read the congregation as they mouthed "They sing like angels." Job done.
Years passed with me too shy to sing "You mean in FRONT of people!?!" although a rock and roll band I liked needed a lead singer and wanted me. Fifteen years, a marriage and two children later brought a move to Bay St. Louis via Florida. St. Rose de Lima and their phenomenal gospel choir welcomed me into their fold without an audition. "But you don't know if I can sing!" said I. "It's enough that you asked", said Philip "Smooth" Williams. For the next 15 years I unlearned the lessons of my youth, replacing the cool, detached and perfect Latin with a living, breathing sound.When we were learning a new song, our choir director Alfriza Acker would sing each section of the four part harmonies in turn, with nothing written down. He couldn't read music but could FEEL what needed to be expressed. We memorized it on the spot. Each time felt fresh, as if we had never sung
the song before. I was told that "if you always sing a song in the same way, you are not open to Spirit using you...." This idea captivated me. It meant feeling the song and letting it move through you instead of controlling all facets and striving for perfection and uniformity with each performance. I was broken open, again and again, until I could get lost in feeling a song, rather than thinking it. There was a new understanding of what it means to live inside of the music, to inhabit it.
Hurricane Katrina brought many challenges including "How do we create a life worth living in the midst of brokenness?". Ellis Anderson and I began singing together one night at the Mockingbird and liked what we heard and how it felt. Through the power of harmony, we were creating and restoring order out of the chaos that surrounded us and permeated our hearts. "Amazing Grace" may have been the first song we ever tried and it reminded me of some fond moments harmonizing with my daughter Molly. We got together and put together a list of songs that we knew in common and began working on them together. As a former busker in the Quarter, Ellis was keen to perform in front of other people and with other musicians. One by one, Scott MacDonald, David Sallis and Billy Ray Hammons came on board and we performed as "Full Cyrcle". As each new member came along, the music shifted to reflect our diverse musical tastes, but we were always strong on harmony.
"Heaven's Radio" is a prayer of gratitude for the richness that music has brought to my life and to the people I love. Bless this music. Bless the musicians. Bless the artists and their work.