Bethany Kalk‘s art is a mix of realism, design, illustration and pattern and the medium changes from project to project to include installation, encaustic painting, drawing, murals, photography, and video. Oceanic pattern and carved line work is a strong influence from growing up in Papua New Guinea. While growing up in the rainforest, she spent many hours submerged to her nose, watching creek creatures up close. She tracked insects, lizards and birds and watched ephemera on the forest floor decay almost overnight. Now she hunts for textures, colors and forms in the landscapes around her. Wandering riverbanks of the Midwest, high deserts of the Southwest, rugged coastlines of the Pacific Northwest, Eastern European hillsides and rain forests, she collects visual sources to combine or contrast to result in artwork that is anchored in natural forms, either explicitly in landscape or subtly in abstraction and pattern. Imagery shifts from delicate and intricate to aggressive and invasive.
In addition to nature-based art, the underlying themes and overlapping subject matter of ongoing works include health and medicine in developing countries, issues of water quality, harmful practices of logging and mining companies and the unaltered landscape versus structured development and production.
Bethany is a professor at Creighton University, she also spends time creating patterns for textiles for MAMAI Design. Her time at the Union will be spend creating multiple installations per month in the studio space.
For more info on Bethany and to see examples of her work, please visit bethanykalk.com.