The following is a selection of articles and excerpts from articles about Kathryn Ramsby and her work. To view the article in its entirety or if you have questions or comments, contact the artist using the navigational button "contact."
February 3, 2007
'RICH VISUAL LANGUAGE' OF HUMAN FORM INSPIRES MIDLANDS SCULPTOR
Author: DEENA C. BOUKNIGHT Special to The State
A SPECIAL ART scholarship during her senior year of high school influenced sculptor Kathryn Ramsby to pursue an art career. After attending the courses at University of North Carolina at Greensboro as part of a high school residential programl, Ramsby went on to teach art, exhibit her work and sell many pieces. In recent months, Ramsby's talent has taken her in new directions -- literally. She and her husband and two children moved from Asheville, N.C., last year, so that her husband could fill the Latin instructor position at Hammond School. With both children in school for the first time, Ramsby decided that it was the right time to take graduate-level courses at the University of South Carolina. She also decided to build a studio in the backyard of her new home.An exciting twist for Ramsby was that HPE Inc., the movie production company for "Death Sentence" (starring Kevin Bacon and Kelly Preston) contacted her while filming in Columbia. "The production company called USC and talked to one of my instructors. He gave them my name and other students' names. When they looked up my Web site, they called and told me that my work was exactly what they envisioned for the Kelly Preston character, who is suppose to be a university art teacher," Ramsby said. The movie production company paid Ramsby to rent her studio equipment and some of her artwork for the movie. Ramsby calls herself a figurative sculptor. Her Columbia home is filled with the human form dancing and moving. She has sculpted busts and masks of her children and designed figurative wedding cake toppers and candlesticks. She also has sculpted figures as part of elaborate architectural elements, such as crown molding, and she is working on portraitures. "I sculpt images of the human form because of its rich visual language," she said. "I am constantly observing to get ideas ..... to study faces. The human face is so complex. I could never exhaust that." Dancers have inspired Ramsby's art, as have the natural forms and rocks that she found while living in the North Carolina Ramsby also sometimes works with wax. She melts it in an ordinary crock pot, pours it into a general mold and then shapes it into the form she desires. She uses a propane torch to soften the wax as she sculpts. Wax sculptures can also be cast. mountains. She feels that tradition, history and formality might inspire her work in Columbia. Before Ramsby begins sculpting, she typically draws her ideas in a sketch book. She then crafts armatures (wire on blocks). They serve as the workstand for the clay. When she finishes the sculpture in clay, which can take as long as a year depending on the size and details involved, it is cut off the armature, pieced back together and then fired. Some pieces are eventually cast in bronze. Ramsby's new 10-by-14 foot studio in Forest Acres will be finished in time for her to participate in Columbia's first Open Studios event, May 5-6. Hosted by the Columbia Festival of the Arts, the event enables the public to see first-hand how artists work. Approximately 60 artists will participate. "I'm always willing to grow as an artist, and I already feel like I'm doing that here," Ramsby said. "I think about how I can take it further and push the boundaries. Usually one idea builds on itself."
Lewis, Angie, “Florida Artist of the Month,” Orlando Leisure Magazine, March 2003.
This month, Kathryn Ramsby is the chosen artist. Her bronze sculptures possess an intuitive grasp of the world we see, and she brings alive the passionate, emotional world that we feel. Her work is a lyrical celebration of movement and grace.
"Sculpted in classical form and traditional materials, the human form in my work speaks in metaphors of emotion, interaction and evolution,” Ramsby said in a statement to the museum [The Orlando Museum]. “In this language, I try to capture the point where simplicity, passion and idealism have shape and form.”
Vadine, Rebecca Swain, "Five questions with Kathryn Ramsby, sculptor," The Orlando Sentinel, April 27, 2003.
Rebecca Swain: "You are the March Artist of the Month at the Orlando Museum of Art--how did this come about?
Kathryn Ramsby: I submitted my work to the museum.
RS: Why sculpture?
KR: Before I started doing sculpture, I loved to do art but was not capable of making something [in painting or drawing] look like I wanted to see it. It was not until after I picked up a piece of clay that I felt that I was an artist. Studying the elements of art from a three-dimensional perspective allowed me to paint, draw and photograph images better. Sculpture, though, remains my first choice of expression.
RS:What is the most challenging aspect of being an artist?
KR:The most challenging aspect is balancing the demands of the real world -- time, money, and two young children -- with the seemingly timeless mindset of creativlty.
RS: What inspires you?
KR:The spark to create comes from curiosity . . . to see how a piece will emerge from a lump of clay. The beginning of every sculpture starts with observation about the anatomy of an emotion or idea. Then I search to fashion the [human] figure into a vehicle of expression where a single gesture captures the unspoken intensity of that experience."
Skoglund Margaret, “Women at Work captures creative diversity,” The Orlando Sentinel, June 5, 2000.
“Judging from the work currently assembled at The Warehouse Gallery, there is no lack of impressive work by women artists in Orlando. The exhibition entitled “Women at Work” showcases the art of 13 talented women, with works ranging from painting to printmaking, from photography to sculpture. It is an exhibition striking in its diversity. From private and personal to the popular and political, the work exhibited represents a range of subjects. From the private and personal to the popular and political, the work exhibited represents a range of subjects."
Groff, Deborah, "Ten Orlando Sculptors," Central Florida Arts Link, November 1994.
"Their work is widely divergent and their materials range from bronze, clay and steel to found objects and paper. The one underlying factor is common is that hey found their artistic voice in the three dimensional process . . .
. . . Kathryn's lyrical use of the figure is romantic, elegant and sensual. . . an overwhelming portion of her work has been based on the [human] figure . . . many of her figures have featured wings or have parts abstracted with spirals and other shapes . . . her incredible attention to detail and craftsmanship in portraying the human figure is evident in her astonishing anatomical detail. . . her proportions are always well balanced, even in her little moquettes."
Carter, Kathy, "Kathryn Ramsby, The Quiet Continuum," City Limits, August 1993, Volume 1, No. 7.
"Let's think for a moment of the human body. The bones and muscles. The enveloping flesh. The subtle refinement and strength. Now give it breath and motion and throw it into a pool of hot bronze. Beautiful and sensual, isn't it?
It all began with a clump of clay, and a chance to teach at a kids summer art program in 1981. A fire was started (not only in the kiln) and a sculptress was born. Kathrn Ramsby, the quiet girl with the hands of gold.
... her inspiration is simply the human form, but what she does with it is extraordinary . . . she has a subtle way of producing very intriguing pieces that capture emotion or form."
Stewart, Laura, "Sculpture earns woman top prize in College Park show," The Orlando Sentinel, May 13, 1985.
"Awards in two categories-- two-dimensional and three-dimensional work-- were announced by festival chairman Brent Summersgill. Major awards are as follows:
. . . Second place, three-dimensional: Kathyrn Ramsby, for bronze sculpture."