Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kennedy Yanko: : Paint

Today we are visiting the home studio of Kennedy Yanko, painter, yoga instructor and devoted nomad.
Kennedy divides her time between St. Louis and New York, where she resides at The Living Theatre, an artists' co-op. When she's in town, she lives with her parents and paints in her studio in their basement. This piece greets you as you walk down the stairs.
Kennedy has painted since she was a child. She had her first art show when she was 15. Kennedy painted this when she was only 12.
"I always knew I wanted to be an artist," she said.
She is also a devoted yoga student and instructor and recognizes her daily meditation as another artistic expression. "I do art in every aspect of my life," she said.
Kennedy shares this space with her father who is also a painter. [His paintings are on the easel above.]
Kennedy's painting process happens in seasons. She says she may not paint for weeks, and then in two months, she'll create 40 works. She also maintains her website and keeps a video journal called Kennedy's Corner.
This year her art will take her to New York, the Hamptons, Connecticut and Florida, where she has a 3- week gig as an artist-in-residence.
Kennedy speaks almost poetically about what it means for her to be part of St. Louis' arts culture. Her painting style is similar to that of Paul LeFlam and she believes this method originated here. "The underground art scene here is amazing," Kennedy said. 
Kennedy is in town now to promote her newest show, "Paroxysm," which opens tomorrow. The word paroxysm means, "uncontrollable outburst" or "fit". This collection will be displayed until June 3, 2011. (She has a permanent installation right up the street at Art Dimensions.)
She created this collection by painting on plastic so that the image could be peeled off and hung independently from a canvas.
She is also partnering with Gallery A.M. (Art Monster) to raise money for Gateway for Growth, a new not-for-profit organization providing free yoga at rehabilitation centers and women's homeless shelters. This program is the first of its kind here in St. Louis.
"This is something I really believe in," Kennedy said. In New York, all of Kennedy's yoga classes are donation based, meaning you pay what you can afford. "This is really how yoga is meant to be offered," Kennedy said.
The show will open tomorrow with food, drinks, live music and an auction to benefit Gateway for Growth. Kennedy let me photograph a "sneak peek" of her installation - I'll have that here tomorrow with more information about the show.

Gallery A.M. (Art Monster)
2617 Cherokee Street
Thank you Kennedy!

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