Special “Eye” to Watch
June Mattingly // contributing art writer
Kim Cadmus Owens
and her role at the University of Dallas..
Kim Owens is on the faculty of the University of Dallas, “the Catholic University for Independent
Thinking.” Kim’s work pictured proves her amazing qualifications for a professorship in charge of
painting and drawing on graduate and undergraduate levels. A native Dallasite, before
receiving a BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, Kim attended the University
of North Texas. As an independent public artist she’s been commissioned by the City of Dallas’
DART Rail System to create art for the Los Colinas station scheduled to open in 2011 (planned
to connect to DFW Airport).
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|Kim’s one-person at Holly Johnson’s Gallery in 2009 titled “Reading Between the Lines”
explores the “urban landscape as historical record and vernacular architecture as
anthropology,” in other words Kim is a creative documenter of the commonplace
world we experience outside, like through a slow moving open wide car window.
Unlike restricted architectural renderings, Kim has the advantage to openly utilize an
artist’s individualistic, inventive perspective and to add considered chosen text, most
often the subject matters of the work.
|A 20-minute drive from downtown off 183, the U of D’s art program was envisioned with the
establishment of the University in 1956. The Haggerty art center, and other buildings on
campus were designed by the important Texas architect O’Neil Ford. Fortunately, unlike
construction practices of the 50s, the sloping wooded lot was not cleared. As common
with Ford’s buildings, it features simple materials, high ceilings and a profusion of filtered
light to inspire art-making and placing art on the walls. “Corky” Cunningham, another
very important Texas architect but of these times, whose practice is in Dallas, designed
the art history building and updated the Haggerty Gallery building.
|“Faith,” 2009, carbon and acrylic on beveled wood panel, 30 x 24 inches
|“Usadas,” 2009, acrylic and charcoal on paper, 22 1/2 x 30 inches
|“Alamo,” 2009, oil on canvas, 64 x 96 inches
|The computer at Kim’s side provides the obvious tool to convert and process the imagery.
It is curious in her classes she shares with students the hidden dexterity it requires to produce
these exact and time intensive executed landscapes, as strong in mutations of black and
white as with shades of lovely warm color added, appearing as if casually and quickly
lifted off a sketch pad.