A person as effective and powerful as Kali Snowden who is also graceful, brilliant, and kind is a rare combination. We find ourselves greatly appreciative to this woman who helped tremendously in arranging the artists for the Art + Industry show. She is here every single day with a smile on her face. You can catch her either in her fine arts space in the Poplar Gallery painting canvases that change with the combination of 3D glasses and black light, or at the Department of Spontaneous Combustion welding giant interactive sculptures.
Here’s our interview with Kali:
Kali: I started out as a Henna tattoo artist, doing custom and traditional freehand designs from India. I have since translated many of those styles and techniques into my paintings. I like to paint using wild and extravagant color palettes and light my work under UV Black Light. Viewers are invited to wear 3D glasses, adding special effects and extra depth perspective to the canvas. I paint and draw abstract designs because I want to bring viewers away from the graphic images and symbolism we see in daily advertisements. With my paintings I hope to create an environment that the viewer can feel like they are getting drawn into a more imaginative state of mind. When I’m not in my studio painting, I work on large scale group projects in sculpture doing metal fabrication.
AmSteel: Why do you do what you do?
Kali: I paint for my own well being, because when I am doing art I can let go of my stress and analytical thoughts. It’s meditative and its also exploration. In my life I want to be constantly learning and through art there are many avenues for expanding my experience and skill sets. I try to always take it one step further, beyond my own comfort zone. My hope is that other people will find my work inspiring and that it might break out of their “box” of what they think art means.
AmSteel: What brought you to AmSteel?
Kali: I read a call out for volunteers from the Flux Foundation, so I showed up that evening for a meeting and have been back practically every day since. Last year I became a crew member for the metal work team on Zoa, a Sculpture built for Burning Man 2012. I started volunteering during all of my free time so as to build up my skill set in sculpture and metal work. I have since built a few smaller projects based off what I learned while building Zoa. For 2013 I am on the metal crew for another large scale interactive sculpture called Mens Amplio at the Department of Spontaneous Combustion.
AmSteel: What’s important to you about the AmSteel Community and how do you feel you are contributing?
Kali: The artists here are very good at what they do. I get to work around very experienced people with specialized skill sets. It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to learn from and even collaborate with them. Over the last few months I have been able to contribute my time in planning a group show among the AmSteel residents, Art + Industry Open Studios and Exhibition. I helped to facilitate placement of each of the artists within the Poplar Gallery for the exhibition.
AmSteel: How has being at AmSteel helped you?
Kali: Its helped me as I am always constantly feeling challenged in what I do. Seeing the art that is produced here has been very inspiring and I feel like it helps me to hold myself to higher standards.
AmSteel: What attracted you to Oakland?
Kali: I am originally from small town Port Townsend, WA. I grew up with in a cabin in the woods and I later acquired an itch for city life. I came to visit San Francisco and relocated immediately after seeing the Bay Area’s rich and vibrant arts community. I’ve been living in West Oakland for 5 years now and am in love with my adopted city.