Mixed Greens is thrilled to announce Kimberley Hart’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. Through drawings and sculpture, Hart attempts to reconcile her daily struggles between an ideal and the reality of being a grower in upstate New York.
A year and a half ago, Hart moved upstate to fulfill the dream of running a family-operated, sustainable farm. Her artwork at the time included a long-standing alter ego who faced impending doom with bravery and inventiveness. Animal traps, popguns, and survival paraphernalia proliferated. This alter ego, who once orchestrated humorous yet gruesome games of fantasy, was now facing reality. Quickly, the alter ego disappeared and Hart’s real life became the subject of the work.
Despite intense preparation and research prior to moving upstate, the sacrifices required of a farm family were only fully grasped when Hart experienced the struggles firsthand. In her vision, farming was a way to achieve personal dreams of a life well lived. In reality, scenarios easily resolved through art were less readily achieved in life. In spite of the hardships, her deeply held ideals have persisted and her motto has become “with great sacrifice, come great rewards.”
Through all the masterfully rendered colored pencil drawings in the show, the viewer witnesses Hart taking control of uncontrollable realities in her daily life: pests of an organic farm, the proliferation of deer, rocky soil, and a neighbor’s tractor covered with fungicide, to name a few. In some cases, Hart devises impossible solutions to her problems, for instance changing the color of hornworms to attract their natural predators, parasitic wasps, and birds. In other cases, she reimagines everyday images to exemplify some of her impediments. In one drawing, the tug boats she watches moving barges on the Hudson are not tugging, but rather pushing into each other, expending energy while getting nowhere.
Sculpture included in the exhibition repurposes unavoidable and unsustainable farm materials that would otherwise meet their demise in a landfill. Plastic—a material she once banned from her life and her art—reappears with an audacity she could not have foreseen even two years ago. Through meticulous drawing and sculpture, she participates in a purposefully slow art-making process, giving herself time to meditate on environmental and food-related concerns and the realities of what one very motivated family can do to fight back.
Kimberley Hart received her MFA in sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design. Since then, she attended Skowhegan, McDowell Colony, and McColl Center for Visual Art, and spent two years at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. She has been included in a number of exciting group exhibitions at prestigious venues including Spaces, Cleveland, OH; untitled(space), New Haven, CT; Exit Art, NYC; White Columns, NYC; the Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, ME; Bellwether Gallery, NYC; and Mark Moore Gallery, Santa Monica, CA. She was awarded the Islip Museum’s Carriage House exhibition in 2007. Solo shows include the Sumter Country Gallery in Sumter, SC, Anthony Giordano Gallery on Long Island, and Bellwether Gallery in NYC. Hart’s ambitious piece, Gingerbread Blind, which was originally made for Socrates Sculpture Park, is now a project at Mark Dion and J. Morgan Puett’s Mildred’s Lane in PA. Hart received a NYFA Fellowship in sculpture and was a participating artist in the 2012 Brooklyn Artists Ball. Her farm, Starling Yards, is located in Red Hook, NY.