You wouldn’t guess it by looking at her. Katelyn all relaxed in her West Sixth tee and paint-stained jeans watching a documentary on Netflix. Katelyn all crazy running tree to tree. Katelyn all cool on the back porch with a coffee, ideas sparking each sip. You wouldn’t guess it, but Katelyn Gabbard wants to make a monster out of you. Yeah, and you. And that tree chunk that looks like a hip. And the iron that she can mold into whatever: broken arm, heart. The foam she can warp to look brainy, or burned.
A mixed media artist, she’ll work with anything. Anything that pumps the pulp out. The pulp. That little bit of damage that’s been done. The loose muck that sticks. Stays wedged between. Sans citrus. For Katelyn, art is freedom (to explore various realms of the self, different media, etc.), but hers is wire-bound in the hollow dark, because she is so taken with/ disgusted by humanity. Now let’s not get too Negative Nancy, of course there are do-gooders; just look at this project: for betterment, peace, learning, sharing. But the others. Something off there. This time it's something about the teeth. (You’ll see.)
One road to drive down forever/ ultimate travel destination: Anywhere wild and free where I can be my own pioneer. Most likely in the mountains.
If you could have one super power… Time travel. Or teleportation. Salem, MA during the witch trials has always intrigued me. I’d go to that time, figure out what was really going on. Honestly, I’d probably be a witch. Go big or go home. Teleportation because I could go anywhere at any time. Go to Liverpool, watch some football, and be back in time for Netflix and dinner.
A metaphor for how you feel on Monday morning: I don’t really care about Monday mornings.
Your favorite art project as a kid: 3rd grade. Miss Gum’s class. Had to do a piece representing “movement.” Drew all these figures dancing with multi-color lights on them. She praised me on that piece and made me feel confident in my artistic abilities, which meant a lot to me. It wasn’t just mom and dad saying, “You’re so good, you’re so good, you’re so good.”
Beer or wine? Beer. Duh. Brown ale. For the ails.
Name one experience that impacted you to become who you are today. After I completed my first wire sculpture in a University of Kentucky class in 2010, I knew. 3D was for me. I fell in love with iron pours. Pouring metal, in general. More than the art: community. I left with so many mentors and a new family that constantly pushed me to do better, instilled my current drive. Aw... I love my sculpture family...
If you were to anamorph… THE KRAKEN. UNLEASH THE KRAKEN!!! Or a dragon. I’m always the dragon. See, my nostrils do this thing where they flare... I could start as a dragon. Then, as a dragon, find my way to the ocean, and become the kraken. Really, it just depends on my mood.
What triggers your “aha” moment? Cruising on country drives with my jams.
Immediately when waking up in the morning, you… have me some coffee and a basic breakfast.
Who is your greatest role model/person that you would like to emulate? My mom. Is that a cheesy answer? She is so logical and really thinks things through. Knows how to take care of her stuff, and not lose things. Me, I’m just impulsive and can’t keep one train of thought.
What are some of the things happening in Louisville that excite you? The Tim Faulkner Gallery in Portland (the West End of town) is really amazing. It’s an old 25,000 sq. ft. warehouse converted into gallery, studio, and performance space, plus creative shops. Art lives and breathes there. And so do I.
For you, what does the 50//50 project mean? It’s a great way to broaden horizons. Within the self and amongst people. For the artists, an opportunity to make, and more importantly, contribute. For the Ko’ox Boons kids, art again, and art is therapeutic.
If you could fly, you would go so high.
Katelyn Gabbard received her BFA in Art Studio at University of Kentucky. For the last two years, she has been an intern at Sculpture Trails in Solsberry, Indiana. Sculpture Trails is an innovate sculptor's retreat tucked away in the woods, where artists spend all day sculpting and learning new practices.
K-Tisha--we couldn't be more honored to see you join the ranks of the Ko'ox Boon 50//50 artists. Welcome to the team!