WKU graduate’s ‘abstract’ art displayed in Spencer’s

WKU alum Kate Kinder’s diptych ‘Blasting Zone Ahead’ hangs in Spencer’s Coffee Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, in Bowling Green, Ky. MIKE CLARK/HERALD

Kierstin Kirk

The exposed brick walls of Spencer’s Coffee now have a new abstract, colorful look to them thanks to recent WKU graduate Kate Kinder.

“I’ve thought about becoming an art professor and I even want to open my own gallery, but that will have to be way off in the future,” Kinder said.

The coffee shop on Fountain Square has given Kinder the opportunity to display her art, providing customers a chance to view new, local artwork, and giving Kinder an opportunity to show her work in one of her favorite college spots. 

Spencer’s owner Justin Shepherd got to know Kinder over her time as a Spencer’s regular.

 “Kate has been a customer here for many years and it’s actually funny because I didn’t know she was an artist until about a month or two ago,” Shepherd said. “I sought out her website and thought her work would look really good in the shop.”

The artwork hanging is described by the artist as abstract imagery. Kinder said her pieces are the result of a combination of architectural design and pictorial representations of her own inner emotions. The pieces vary in shape and size, some similar in design to road signs. They feature words, letters and other details in bright colors.

She was inspired by guidance from her professors and in-depth ideas discussed in her classes. 

Kinder, from Franklin, graduated in December 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in painting, and in Graphic Design. She has a strong art background and grew up creating art.

Kinder recently moved to Florida for graduate school and wants to continue pursuing art in the future.

“My parents were both artists in college so I’ve always been around art,” Kinder said.

This isn’t the first time Shepherd displayed local art in the coffee shop. Shepherd finds artwork to showcase in his shop through connections made within the community, and through regular customers.

“It happens pretty organically, we approach artists when we’ve seen or heard about their work,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd said he believes people who consider themselves art lovers are most likely going to go to galleries to enjoy art, but normal people can’t go to a gallery everyday.

With local artwork and photography on display in his shop, however, they have the luxury of viewing art in their favorite coffee shop.    

He said it’s very important to showcase local artwork so community artists can be exposed to a broader audience and budding artists like Kinder can display their work without needing an extensive resume.

He also hangs local artwork in his shop simply for decoration.

“Our space is pretty large with high ceilings and bare walls,” Shepherd said. “We want to fill that space so there’s almost a selfish aspect to why we showcase local work.”

Kinder’s work will be up most of fall, and most likely be taken down around Thanksgiving. Shepherd generally keeps local art up for around two to three months. 

“It’s really exciting to know people are seeing my work and I’m thankful for the opportunity,” Kinder said. “I haven’t had the chance to show my work in places besides galleries and I know a lot of people that go to Spencer’s so that’s cool.”