Whaley to be a featured artist at TroyFest

Published 4:00 am Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The love for the arts started early for Kimberly “Kim” Whaley, but her pursuit of a career in art was partly thanks to the encouraging experience with TroyFest Student Art Show.

This year will be the second time Whaley comes to TroyFest as a professional artist. However, she has been more than familiar with the festival since she was taking the first steps in reaching her career with the fine art.

Whaley entered the TroyFest Student Art Show when she was a student at Troy Elementary School.

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“For me, this is a personal achievement to be from a young artist at the school level to a professional artist in the festival art show,” Whaley said. “It’s a good opportunity to show case my art works in my home town for friends and family who cannot come to where I live now (Ozark) to see my show.”

Whaley said she started drawing as soon as she could pick up a pencil and she has been doing that ever since.

“It was really a big thing to show the community what I did at school,” she said. “I hope the Student Art Show helps encourage other students who enjoy making art and promote the arts and culture in schools.”

One accomplishment Whaley said she would always remember was the Jean Lake’s scholarship she received her senior year in high school.

“I got to have my own section at the festival,” she said. “That’s something I am extremely proud of, something that validates that I am going in the right direction pursuing a career in the arts.”

She said when she was in school, she looked forward to the festival every year.

“At the show, I received encouraging critique from others with useful, positive feedback,” Whaley said.

“The Student Art Show was my first experience of showing my art and that was when I realized art what I wanted to do as my career. I hope the young students are like I was when they show what they learn in school. They will show that our art programs, not only in Troy Elementary but also in middle and high school level, are very good compared in local area.”

Pam Smith, an art teacher at Charles Henderson High School who is in charge of the TroyFest Student Art Show at the Johnson Center, said the event had a big impact on the art students.

“We are grateful to be able to showcase our art,” Smith said. “When you hang up the art works, it becomes a whole other experience. It makes the student feel confident and accomplished.”

Now as a professional artist, Whaley said she enjoyed working with mixed media painting.

“Usually my art is inspired by the small sill moments that a lot of people overlook,” she said. “The purpose is to force people to take a moment to appreciate those moments.”

She said the topic of her art works varies. It could be nature; it could be human forms. However, no matter what the topic, texture is one of the key elements in her art.

Whaley said she used materials such as foliage or beach sand to enhance the details in her paintings.

“I like working with mixed media because there is a wide range I am able to experiment with,” she said. “There are more layers, more details.”

This year, Whaley is bringing to TroyFest “Petal Two” and “Petal Three,” the work that won her Paining Merit Award at last year festival. She will also show case her new pieces such as “April Shower” and “Take Me to the Ocean.”