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Member Spotlight: Kenny Hargrove

I’ve always had a love for art, from watching my dad, while at work, doodling on his desk calendar…of course I did the same and still do to this day. But my art has come a long way from those scribbles. I took an art class, in 6th grade and it turned me away from taking any classes after that, which I regret…but it did let me follow another love, which is singing and I did choir, which led me into the theater and musicals in high school. But I was always drawing, learning my own way, teaching myself through trial and error. It was a journey that led me to painting, one of my true loves now and continues to evolve, as I started with black pen, to markers, to prisma pencils, etc. I was always scared of painting, as I am OCD with everything being symmetrical and in its right place. I’ve been halfway through draws and the smallest mistake, only I would notice, made me crumble up that paper and start from the beginning. The struggle is real, for those who really know. One of my favorite artists, Jackson Pollock, is what let me step out of my comfort zone and just let the paint flow. The painting experience has come a long way from my first painting of a tree, a friend requested and it looked like a 2-year old painted it, to my next try…as a close friend said, “it looks like you went from Kindergarten to High School in just one painting.” I love abstract painting, working with acrylic paints and now with the never-ending possibilities, working with resin. Everything I try, I seem to get the hang of and make it my own style. Painting has only really come back around, in my life, at the beginning of this year, as I was sick last year and while on bedrest, I spent hours and hours going down the YouTube wormhole of pouring and couldn’t wait until I could try it myself and the first one, I shared on my Instagram, just to show what I was doing and a friend asked if it was for sale. I’ve been very fortunate with how well I’ve done, but it’s the love of seeing the reaction of the recipient, whether it be a commissioned piece or a surprise for a friend. That moment is priceless and I wouldn’t trade anything for those moments. In less than a year, my painting love and skill has grown and I learn something new with every new piece. I put my life experiences and journey after being paralyzed, after a fall in 2005, into my paintings and it’s helped me through the tough times. I look forward to the future and where my art goes from here.

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