Kim Schmitt Thomas was born in 1970 in the Hell’s Kitchen area of NYC to two young actors, then later raised in nearby Bergen County, NJ, where she currently works and resides with her husband and 5 year old twin girls. Her early childhood was often spent drawing caricatures of flamboyant dancers and actors in theatre wings and dressing rooms, after being inspired by an Al Hirschfeld drawing of her mom in The Sunshine Boys. She also spent many afternoons studying graffiti covered billboards on the streets of the NYC while bar hopping for Shirley Temples with her babysitter, a retired longshoreman. Those colorful early years, along with her own extensive training in dance and acting, have had a great influence on the energetic line quality, and exaggerated, distorted figures and faces that are intertwined throughout most of her work.
After attending the University of Bridgeport in the late 80s where she majored in Illustration, Kim transferred into the Fine Arts program at Montclair State University, while she freelanced as an illustrator, designing program covers and logos for small NYC theatre companies, as well as creating animated logos for the TV/film production company, Bert Stratford Productions. For many years, Kim also worked as an interior artist/muralist with Of The Essence Designs, with whom she painted on-site works in various businesses and private homes in NY and NJ. Currently, Kim concentrates mostly on her studio painting. She is a represented gallery artist at CINQ Gallery in the Design District of Dallas, TX. Kim also shows and sells her work in NYC/NJ, as well as privately by appointment. Commissioned work consistently keeps her busy throughout the year.
While stylistically influenced by graffiti, torn layers of city billboards, old building walls, I float between allowing a painting to organically determine its own direction and expression, and deliberately choosing subject matters that range from personal to controversial, painful to provocative, ironic to bizarre. I always have a very strong connection to the stories and subjects that I paint, whether they’re taken from the everyday lives of others, or from my own. Because the “everyday” is something that often gets overlooked or seen with indifference, I fill my paintings with controlled commotion and simplified exaggeration in order to grab the viewer’s attention and cause them to really observe, decipher, and hopefully see these everyday happenings from a new perspective.
With the use of acrylics, joint compound, spray paint, wax pastels, pencils, and sometimes newspaper/magazines, I overlap and intertwine figures, shapes, text and objects. By doing this, I feel I have almost unlimited space within the confinement of the four walls of the canvas. My work is often filled with action and chaos, while still maintaining a certain balance and control, much like life itself.
Born 1970, NYC, NY. Raised and currently resides in NJ.
1988-89, University of Bridgeport, Illustration Major
1989-90, Montclair State University, Fine Arts Major
CINQ Gallery, Dallas Design District, Dallas, TX (currently)
WALL Gallery, Dallas Design District, Dallas, Texas (2016-closing 2017)
2019- Upcoming at the Gallery at HACPAC, (2 person- solo painter with sculptor), Hackensack, NJ
2017- CINQ Gallery, KIM WUZ HERE!, Dallas, Texas
2016- Gallery 691, Wyckoff, NJ
2016- Intermezzo Gallery at BergenPAC, Truth or Dare, Englewood, NJ
2006- The Park Avenue Club, Florham Park, NJ
2018- MAD Gallery, NYC pop-up exhibition, Chelsea, NYC
2018-CINQ Gallery, Coil and Catch, Represented Artists Exhibition, Dallas, TX
2018- Studio Montclair Galleries, State of the Art 2018, Montclair, NJ
2017- CINQ Gallery, Ember and Smoke, End of Year Gallery Artists' Group Show, Dallas, TX
2017- CINQ Gallery, Autumnation, Gallery Artists Fall Exhibition, Dallas, TX
2017- CINQ Gallery, Gallery Artists' Summer Show, Dallas, TX
2017- Pierro Gallery, Text Me, South Orange, NJ
2017- Studio Montclair Galleries, Members Exhibition, Montclair, NJ.
2016- Bergen County Winners' Exhibition, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, Hackensack, NJ
2016- 52nd Annual Bergen County Art in the Park Juried Show, Paramus, NJ- 3rd Place Winner in Mixed Media
2016- CAT Walk Arts Festival, Hackensack, NJ
2016- ART SLOPE Art Fair, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY.
2016- Studio Montclair Galleries@Academy Square, Back Story Exhibit, Montclair, NJ
2015- Studio Montclair's 18th Annual Open Juried Exhibition, Viewpoints 2015, at Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ
2015- 51st Annual Bergen County Art in the Park Juried Show, Paramus, NJ
2014- 50th Annual Bergen County Art in the Park Juried Show, Paramus, NJ
2013- 49th Annual Bergen County Art in the Park Juried Show, Paramus, NJ (1st place mixed media winner)
2013- Bergen County Winners' Exhibition, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, Hackensack, NJ
AWARDS, PUBLICATIONS, PRESS
2018- Boston Voyager Magazine, interview 7/2/18 publication (please see Press/Gallery Pix for link to full article and photos)
2018- New York Magazine/The CUT, write-up for MAD Gallery NYC group exhibition in Chelsea
2017/18- DALLAS STYLE & DESIGN MAGAZINE, Winter Edition, photo of Chasing Rays used for CINQ Gallery.
2017- DALLAS STYLE & DESIGN MAGAZINE, Fall Edition, photo of Chasing Rays used for CINQ Gallery ad.
2017- DALLAS STYLE & DESIGN MAGAZINE, Summer Edition, photo of KIM WUZ HERE! used for CINQ Gallery ad.
2017- DALLAS STYLE & DESIGN MAGAZINE, Spring Edition, full page ad using Bell Bottom Blues for KIM WUZ HERE solo exhibition at WALL Gallery, Dallas, TX.
2016- 3rd Place Winner in Mixed Media, 52nd Annual Bergen County Art in the Park Juried Show, Paramus, NJ; awarded by the Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs
2016- THE NEW YORK TIMES, Sunday, August 14, METRO/ARTS/NJ section, published photo of THE BODYSNATCHER, publicizing solo exhibition, TRUTH OR DARE, at BERGEN PAC, Englewood, NJ.
2016- THE NEW YORK TIMES, Sunday May 22, METRO/ARTS/NJ section, published photo/info of THE BODY SHOP on display at Studio Montclair Gallery, Montclair, NJ.
2016-THE DAILY VOICE, interview, article and photo by Miriam Davenport, publicizing solo exhibition, TRUTH OR DARE, at BERGEN PAC, Englewood, NJ.
2016- BEST OF NJ. COM, photo of TWISTER, publicizing solo exhibition, TRUTH OR DARE, at BERGEN PAC, Englewood, NJ
2016- BROADWAY WORLD. COM, published photo of PAPER DOLLS, Biography and Artist's Statement, publicizing solo exhibition, TRUTH OR DARE, at BERGEN PAC, Englewood, NJ
2016- TIMES SQUARE GOSSIP. COM, published photo of THE RACE, Biography and Artist's Statement, publicizing solo exhibition, TRUTH OR DARE, at BERGEN PAC, Englewood, NJ.
2013- First Place Winner Award of Mixed Media, 49th Annual Bergen County Art in the Park Juried Show, Paramus, NJ; awarded by the Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs
Firefly Modeling Agency, Los Angeles, California/Dallas, Texas
Savoy Associates, Florham Park, New Jersey
Summit Hills Florist, Summit, New Jersey
Nouveau Sushi Restaurant, Montclair, New Jersey
Bert Stratford Productions, NYC, New York