Louisiana-based visual artist Kelli Kaufman will showcase Third Coast: Landscapes of the Gulf South, a solo exhibit of her recent works, Oct. 19 at Huff Harrington Fine Art in Buckhead, 4240 Rickenbacker Dr. NE, Atlanta.
Third Coast is a cohesive collection of oil paintings inspired by insights Kaufman gained during travels of the last year. Travel balanced with her Louisiana roots to blend with Kaufman’s signature style in paintings that feature oaks, marshes and other sunset skies along the Gulf Coast.
“Sometimes going away brings a different level of focus and appreciation of the beauty in the familiar,” Kaufman said. “I traveled a lot this year, especially to Hawaii and noticed similarities in the palms and flora to that of Louisiana plants. The palmetto, for example, is everywhere along the coast and symbolizes home for so many. Seeing familiar plants in a different place reminded me that the splendor of nature is all around us — even when we’re home. We just don’t always recognize it.”
This display is Kaufman’s first solo venture with Huff Harrington, who has represented her art for many years. The gallery owners, Ann Huff and Meg Harrington, opened their business to display and sell work by established French artists. They have since found joy in helping other artists, including emerging artists, to expand their work by making it part of their clients’ home interiors.
“After opening our little gallery on a quiet street of a busy Buckhead neighborhood, we found that our taste in art struck a chord with our clients,” Harrington said. “We enjoyed every minute of helping them begin or expand their art collections with work from both emerging and established artists. We found that this artwork is an important part of their overall home collections.”
Kaufman’s work has gained a following in Atlanta, and she is excited to share this new show with those who know her work well and those who will see it for the first time. She says the work that went into this solo show taught her the importance of balancing artistic expression with the planning it takes to be a successful artist.
“As a one-woman show, I work on every aspect of my business, not just the artwork,” she said. “Having an out-of-state show with a deadline increases the internal tension between commercial success and painting from the heart. I began the paintings early in the year to allow each piece enough time and patience to evolve on its own. Abandoning the pressure and trusting the process is the only way to enter what I call ‘the zone.’ It’s when the canvas is leading and I’m following, open to the possibilities of free expression yet always connected to my roots.”
Born and raised in southern Louisiana, Kelli Kaufman is a self-taught painter of southern coastal landscapes. The nostalgic, untamed scenery of the south, including vast colorful skies, wild meandering marshes and moss-draped live oak trees are the primary sources of inspiration for her work. In her paintings, the eye is led to far off vanishing points, capturing a moment in time that is both romantic and familiar. Line and shape come in and out of focus with soft brush stroked of oil paint, cold wax, oil pastels and charcoal. Painted with emotion and a connection to her roots, Kaufman’s paintings conjure an internal longing to immortalize the fragile beauty of the land.