HER ART STUDIO POSSESSES an almost industrial, spartan look. Clean lines. Tidy. Labels. Schedules. Everything just so.
Kip O’Krongly freely admits to her need for orderliness in the second floor ceramics studio of her Northfield home.
Here, in this slanted ceiling room with the tile floor she laid and with sunlight streaming in, Kip’s dog, Gertie, rests briefly on a blue and green plaid blanket below double windows. A short respite from visitors, like me, who have filtered into Kip’s studio and home during the South Central Minnesota Studio ARTour.
During this (last) weekend open house, I am visiting the studios of select artists I have not seen on past tours.
I am drawn to Kip’s place by the tractors, wind turbines and corn I’ve seen showcased online on her ceramics.
She tells me that themes of food, transportation and energy run through her work. Once she points that out, I ask whether she was raised on a farm. No. Alaska.
We don’t get into details about the themes, but I mention that I grew up on the southwestern Minnesota prairie and am visually troubled by the wind turbines that populate the landscape, ruining, in my opinion, the aesthetics of the prairie.
Kip says she welcomes how her art opens up dialogue and the opportunity to hear differing opinions on social issues. And I sense her sincerity in stating that.
I am intrigued, too, by her name. Kip O’Krongly. It possess a certain snap, a certain strength, a certain ruggedness. I never ask. But I don’t need to. Her work, talent and confidence as an artist define Kip O’Krongly.
© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling