Giornale di Pistoia - Artist Interview News Article Tuscany Italy
Hi, I just wanted to take a brief moment to celebrate something cool:
I recently bumped into journalist Emanuele Cutsodontis and his wife outside of my frame shop. He asked me if I had seen the article he wrote about me after our brief interview back in July or maybe June. I had not. Where I live, my local friend told me, we do not receive the Giornale di Pistoia [giornale = newspaper].
Last week I stopped by his place of business to pick up a copy and then took it to another shop to have it scanned, copied, and the original newsprint laminated.
I had a laugh when I saw the headline "Kelly is 'stregata' . . . " because in Italian, 'strega' means 'witch.' However, it was explained to me that this is a verb that means that I am "more than in love with" something. So, likely 'bewitched."
I was surprised that while the story does mention my current marble project, "When Atlas Tires" (put on hold again as I try to create a larger sculpture at the quarry now... another post in the making) and my recent drawing of Ayala and the Leopard ("Spotted"), the article is more about me.
Mainly, it shares part of my life story explaining that I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the same place as Bob Dylan (I believe Emanuele must be a huge fan because I had not thought of that as a way to describe St. Paul). The article claims that I am a well-rounded and noted artist, sculptor and painter. And he mentions that I received my degrees in mathematics and English.
And then I waited for my dog Zac to finish his life of 15 years and three months before I came to Italy in 2004 at the age of 39, backpacking around for 6 weeks with the goal of touching a Michelangelo sculpture. He related the story about how I had been asked (by Nelie Plourde, then head of the Charles Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum in Austin, Texas) to bring back a piece of the famous Italian marble for kids to see in Austin. It made my pack weigh over 40 pounds, but taught me the word "pesante" ('heavy') as Italians who helped me with my backpack to get on the train often exclaimed.
In 2006, I started my back and forth journeys from Texas to Italy to continue learning. And he described [skipping a few details, for space or perhaps a too-complicated chain of events and people] how I met a sculptor through an art exhibit and mutual friends and got myself invited to participate in a stone-carving symposium in Castelvecchio in 2013. Castelvecchio is one of the ten Medieval villages in an area called Valleriana, aka Svizzera Pesciatina (Swiss Pescia). Two years after the symposium, I moved here from Florence, Italy.
Next he asked me how I went from studying mathematics to creating art. Thus, I explained that they are both the same thing: a means to visually describe relationships between things.
The article ends with a wee bit of discussion about the Covid situation and I explain that I am luckier than most. My life as an artist is mostly being alone and that I live in a place surrounded by nature, so I probably feel a lot less isolated than most city folks. Personally, the more negative thing is that my boyfriend is a Venetian. Thus, we do not see each other so often. That makes a new-ish relationship slow going, no?
This article was published on 30 July 2021, Giornale di Pistoia, in Tuscany, Italy. In 2017, Pistoia won the bid with the Italian Ministry of Culture and became the Italian Capital of Culture for that year. Pistoia lies less than one hour northwest of Florence, in the direction of Lucca.