Katie Curruthers 1

Growing up on Lake Lotawana, close to the outdoors, is a way of life that influenced local artist Katie Carruthers, in her love of science and nature as well as in her artwork. The subject matter in her work ranges in both abstract environments with large brush strokes and an array of colors, as well as realistic natural imagery, such as butterflies, bees and dragonflies. This combination of elements has over time developed into a conversation about authenticity. She is concerned with the level of awareness we live our lives within and how it affects our understanding of the different elements in our lives we come in contact with everyday; from the food we eat, relationships we hold, and images we see. Katie describes, “What began as a design principle and a love of nature, has developed into a relationship between two polarizing parts that parallel our society. The contrast of reality vs. illusion speaks to the pieces of our lives we understand as true and the reality we live by.” She believes that just as her paintings include images of reality and illusion, such relationships can also be found on a variety of levels in our societies. Much of her concern developed after the birth of her first child in 2011 and has only intensified as she and her husband Zach welcomed their second and third. What may be perceived simply as a pretty painting has much deeper roots as this mom-artist is influenced by a strong sense of responsibility and maternal protection that filters directly into her work. After teaching art at Lee’s Summit North High School for eight years, Katie decided to take some time off to be home with her three young children. The added benefit is she also has more time to pursue her first passion; painting. “Growing up, all I ever wanted to be was a mom and an artist. I feel very lucky that I can give more of my focus to both.” says Katie. Even with a renewed focus, teaching will always be close to Katie and she will miss the meaningful relationships she developed with students. “I felt strongly about pushing my students to reach for their highest potential and encouraging them to follow their dreams. I truly believe with enough conviction, anyone can do anything they want in life. We had many conversations about life, living truthfully and authentically.” This is a theme that continues in her artwork, as Katie hopes to encourage her viewers to pursue a heightened awareness in their daily interactions that can lead them to a more full and connected life. Katie and Zach along with their three children live at Lake Lotawana. Katie was recently chosen as a fellow for ArtistINC in Kansas City, Mo and looks forward to starting the school year as an Adjunct Instructor for the University of Central Missouri, as well as seeing her Kindergartener off to her first day of school. She also has a current solo show, Ruse and Reality, at Vulpes Bastille in KCMO. You can join Katie for the closing reception, Friday Sept 23, 5-8:30pm
to see her large interdisciplinary show. You can also follow her work on her website, and 
Instagram @ktneedsart.