Blythe King

Blythe King | Visual Arts, Mixed Media Portraits

Educational Background/Training

MA Buddhism and Art, University of Colorado
BA Japanese religion and art, University of Richmond

About the Artist/Ensemble

Blythe King leads a diversified life in the arts. She works as an educator, mentor, collaborator, program director, and practicing artist. Blythe’s collage work has exhibited regularly in Virginia through the Richmond Public Library, Quirk, Eric Schindler Gallery, and the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. She has also been showcased by the The Griffin Museum of Photography in Massachusetts and the Hillyer in Washington DC. Most recently, she was awarded a 2022-23 Artist Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. In 2021, Blythe launched Open Space Education in response to the growing need for equitable access to nature, art education, and alternative modes of learning for Richmond youth. Blythe’s academic background combines an MA in Buddhism and Art from the University of Colorado, with undergraduate studies in Japanese religion and art at the University of Richmond. She currently serves as Vice President on the board of Richmond Zen.

Educational Program Description

My mixed media projects and workshops offer me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned during years of experimenting with collage, vintage advertising, and the image transfer process. The image transfer process uses safe, non-toxic adhesives, such as acrylic medium and clear tape, to produce transparent images that allow for the visibility of multiple collaged layers within a single work of art all at once. This process is useful for creating rich visual narratives that represent the complexity of history and historical figures.

It’s exciting for me to see how different audiences respond to my collection of materials, including old magazines, photocopies, and recycled paper, and how they approach collage. It’s important for me as an artist educator to offer my students new ways of seeing. Collage is an excellent tool for achieving this since it inherently carries a double-meaning: the meaning of the image’s original context, and how that image’s meaning changes through the art process. Students often find it empowering and even liberating to realize that they can transform media images and messages through art, creating meaning that is important to them.

Sample Residency Programs Through Open Space Education:

TREE TALK, Grades K-3
In the class TREE TALK, students focus on tree identification and creative representation of nature as an explorative adventure. Hike, sketch, and paint along open green spaces and riverscapes, concentrating on one or two trees each week as an active scavenger hunt. What do trees have to say? How do we recognize and identify them? How do we represent them through art?

In the class, REAL LAYERS, students tell their own stories through layering paint, collage, stamps, found objects, and elements from nature. Explore the outdoors and practice foundational sketching, drawing, and painting. Alter projects by adding everyday materials to build dimension and meaning. How can you express your own stories and interests through color, texture, and layering? How does nature inspire your mixed media art?

In the class, GIVE + TAKE: NATURE-BASED ART, we’ll take resources from nature to create art, while collaboratively thinking of ways to give back to nature with the aim of reconnecting with each other, and the earth. Go on hikes to explore and collect materials. Projects include making your own art supplies, like paint, paintbrushes, and paper from natural materials, as well as reimagining the green space around you.


  • All Ages
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