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, including work as an educator, professional practitioner, mentor, collaborator, and successful entrepreneur. Her unique perspective and abilities reflect this collectively rich experience. Since 2013, she has taught adults, seniors, youth, students with special needs, and others through local organizations like the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), The Visual Arts Center, and Reynolds Community College. She brings a talent for cultivating awakenings through creative programming. In 2020, she launched Open Space Education to develop critical thinking, artistry, and communications in Richmond youth.
Blythe’s mixed media art has achieved consistent critical acclaim and has exhibited regularly in Virginia through the Richmond Public Library, Quirk, Candela, Eric Schindler Gallery, and the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. She has also been showcased by the The Griffin Museum of Photography (MA) and Hillyer Art Space (Washington DC). Her use of gold leafing is particularly noteworthy for rekindling interest in a long-forgotten craft.
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.
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?
REAL LAYERS: THE MIXED MEDIA PROCESS, Grades 2-5
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?
GIVE + TAKE: NATURE-BASED ART, Grades 6-8
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