Kirk is well known to all artists in the Arts Guild. He has been in almost every job during the last 12 years, and knows all the ins-and-outs. We turn to him daily, and he is always the first one to step up to fill a need, whatever it is. He has been elected our President for 2017, and he will certainly contribute all his time and talents to that endeavor. He’s an artist too, in collage, when he has time! That being said, he’s a hard person to contain for a half-hour interview, but we did catch up with him at the gallery one rainy afternoon.
Kirk, what is your earliest memory of being involved in art?
I’m told I loved coloring books as an infant. Then in fourth grade I did some drawings that everybody loved. My parents divorced when I was 2-1/2, my mother had a job and my father was in the service, neither one knew anything at all about art. We had a very quiet household, we didn’t socialize, so as I look back on those years I think I turned to art for solace. Although, to be fair, my welfare was always first and foremost to my mother, so I had no complaints. Later in my first year at art school, people loved my collage art. I was attracted to Surrealism, so collage was a natural fit. The brain sends different messages when we view things that are “different”, for instance when looking at a Magritte, so this new medium excited me.
Was there a teacher who inspired you?
The teachers in high school were great, as was the principal William Hudgins who took a personal interest in me. It’s worth noting that I constantly blabbed at school! A workshop instructor, Jonathan Talbot, was very important to my development, teaching me how to generate ideas. He wrote a very instructive book titled Collage Without Liquid Adhesives.
What is your schedule of the day?
I go to the studio 5 days a week, generally 9:30 or so to 5pm. I have mountains of materials, organized by subject matter – materials from posters, hand bills, magazines, papers, and of course people give me things to use. If my muse is off in any given day, I organize things instead, which I enjoy as it gives me time to develop ideas. In years past, whenever I went to my fraternal grandmother’s house, I would tidy up! Clearly, organizing things is a deep part of my process.
Do you play music?
Oh yes, 40’s and 50’s jazz ballads, occasionally 30’s French jazz.
What do people not know about you?
As I mentioned before, our house was very quiet, so I grew up being comfortable with silence. Because of that, I prefer to be alone, but I can be social when the occasion arises.
Where would people NOT find you?
A sports bar, a rock concert, large gatherings of any kind.
What do you feel is the future of art in all its forms?
Young people are turning to all forms of art such as music, dance, etc. so it won’t die out entirely. Actually I don’t have a vision. In a perfect world I would like artists and teachers to get the respect they deserve and be able to survive in a money-driven culture. At least a respectable living which enables them to pursue their passions.
Thank you Kirk.
Kirk Hinshaw’s collage art is on display at the Arts Guild gallery every month and on his website.