March – April 2023
About the exhibit:
In Healing Sanctuary, Kammy Downs blends drawing, natural dye, fiber, and needlecraft to create beautiful installations.
She uses her work to explore the connections between God and nature and the particular ways that the mysterious life cycle of plants reveals aspects of the hidden spiritual world. She creates and uses many natural dyes herself, and through this process she considers the role of plants as a God-given remedy for the healing of our bodies.
As one member of a multigenerational line of artists and seamstresses in her family, Kammy’s work also uses many familiar domestic materials and practices that have been passed down between women in families and communities throughout history.
About the artist:
Raised in rural South-Central Kansas, Kammy Downs enjoyed a supportive childhood that allowed exploration of creative pursuits and nature. Downs attended Emporia State University where she was inspired to teach art. Her love of the art-making process has deepened through the experience of teaching for 35+ years in a variety of institutions from Montessori to public schools in California, Kansas, and Missouri. She has had the privilege of creating several murals with students and has written public art grants, two of which included work with internationally known Kansas artists, Stan Herd and Shin-hee Chin.
Recent highlights of her work include participation in the 2020 Salina Biennial Exhibition, a Social Practice project called ‘Seeds4HOPE,’ which brings attention to resources for creating resilience in the midst of depression. Downs completed her Master of Fine Arts program at Fort Hays State University in 2022.
Downs and her husband, Gary, live in Kansas City and have five grown daughters and four grandchildren.