Kathleen Beausoleil lives and works in Fair Haven, NJ. Primarily working in oil paint, her works focus on what it means to be a social being. Kathleen Beausoleil received a 2022 Fellowship from the NJ Council of the Arts; was a member of The Drawing Center’s Viewing Program and has been an Artist in Residence at programs including the Cuttyhunk Artist Residency, Chalk Hill Artist Residency, Da Vinci Art Alliance and the Artist *Forests* Community Program sponsored by the Holter Museum of Art and Helena National Forest. She recently had her first solo show at the Monmouth Museum. Her work is in the permanent collection of The Art Museum of Missoula and numerous private collections. She has also taught at the SUNY Empire State’s Studio Semester program. She received her BFA Cum Laude at Syracuse University.
"The primary medium, and subject /content of the paintings is oil on canvas or panel, which explores human social interaction and territorial drivers of crowd behavior. At the core is a fascination with how people organize. Often it is the spaces between people that define their relationships. We consider ourselves as having conspicuously unique personalities. Yet, if one takes a closer look, it is clear that there exists a pack mentality programmed into our social interaction and territorial behavior. There is a sense of liberty in anonymity; a safety in getting lost in the crowd. How people behave in public is very telling about the culture they live in. Observing these groups can help give us a better understanding of our place in our culture. Even our individual expressions only appear acceptable or distasteful within the context of a larger community of organized and accepted social norms. It is with this premise that observations for the subject are made with the realization that people need other people, their own people, to be happy, accepted, and fulfilled. We also need other people to project our grievances and, at times, rally around a common enemy. It is a sense of belonging that people seek both in our microcosmic home lives and within our macrocosmic social lives"
Tell us a little about yourself (where you are from) and your background in the arts.
I have lived most of my life on the Jersey Shore. I currently live and work in Fair Haven, NJ. I received a 2022 Fellowship from the NJ Council of the Arts; was a member of The Drawing Center’s Viewing Program and have been an Artist in Residence at programs including the Cuttyhunk Artist Residency, Chalk Hill Artist Residency, Da Vinci Art Alliance, and the Artist *Forests* Community Program sponsored by the Holter Museum of Art and Helena National Forest. I recently had my first solo show at the Monmouth Museum. My work is in the permanent collection of The Art Museum of Missoula and numerous private collections. I also taught at the SUNY Empire State’s Studio Semester program. I received my BFA Cum Laude at Syracuse University.
What kind of work are you currently making?
My recent body of work is about social rituals that are not often overlooked yet are very important to the society that developed them. We need other people and community events to foster a sense of well-being. These events create social solidarity and cohesion providing physical and mental well-being.
What is a day like in the studio for you?
My schedule rotates depending on the day. My daily goal is 3 hours a day painting or drawing. If it doesn't hit that then I need to make those hours on another day. An ideal day in the studio is a quick check of emails and correspondence and then painting 10 - 2:30. I may return to painting after picking my kids up from school or switch to mom roll and then do management work after dinner.
What are you looking at right now and/or reading?
I am reading 3 books: “Color; A Workshop for Artists and Designers” by David Hournung, “Monuments Men” by Robert M. Edsel (for an art book club); and Neuromancer for fun. I listen to books while I paint and consume a lot. I am currently looking at Renoir’s crowd paintings and Cecily Brown.
Where can we find more of your work?
I have a 2 person show coming up in May 2024 at The Painting Center in NYC