Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Interview with Kira Kuck ~participating Artist in the Together We Can RePURRPosed Gallery

Kira Kuck was one of the first participating Artists I met when my sister and I arrived at 201 Mulberry Street in SoHo New York for this exciting event. We have since been in touch via facebook and have shared our excitement over being involved in such a fun and worthy cause. Interviewing the Artists I've since connected with online is a way to know and inform others more about them, their art, and aspirations as an Artist.  Our names can't possibly compete or command attention like the celebrities involved, but in our own right, each of us felt a bit like a celebrity that night.

Cheers to all the exceptional Artists who participated, and on with Kira's engaging interview!

How  did you hear about the Together We Can project?

"Surprisingly from my Mom.  I say surprisingly because my Mom isn't the most internet savvy person, God bless her, but she was a member of Purina's website and received the information from the website and an email.  My Mom told me that I should apply because I love to paint and more importantly I LOVE my Cats! At first, I thought that I didn't have a chance to become an artist for the purpose, but when I received an phone call from an unknown number, I quickly returned the call, and it was Brittany contacting me to take part!"

Where did you travel from to attend the gallery event?

"I traveled from my apartment in New York City.  I was thankfully located just a hop skip and a jump from the gallery event."

Has your art been in a gallery show before?

"Back about 10 years ago, I participated in several galleries in my home town of Yorktown, Va.  In high school, I was very fortunate to be studying under a wonderful art teacher Marcy Avery, who had numerous connections and opportunities for her students.  As a result, she was able to enter our work into numerous galleries and competitions.  My art is on display at Grace Episcopal Church, which was built in 1697, and I have a 92ft mural at York High School also in Yorktown, Va."

Had you previously used recyclable materials  in your art or was this a whole new medium for you?

"Incorporating the metal cans into my art work was a new medium for me.  In fact it presented it's own set of challenges of how to incorporate the cans while maintaining the integrity of the artwork and making it flow seamlessly into the art without being distracting or obtrusive."

How many cat food cans did you use to create your piece?

"I used the lids from 10 Fancy Feast cans as well as several of the labels."

How did you choose the idea for the art you submitted?

"My idea came to me in a dream, literally.  I woke up several times during the night and early morning the day that I had set aside to paint.  At first, I wanted to use the entire cans on the canvas, but then I couldn't figure out a way to do this without it looking messy, so I decided to just use the lids. I kept waking up with ideas, colors, and placement on the canvas.  I have always been inspired by Andy Warhol and his use of commercial images in a repetitious and fun way inspired me to use the same approach with the Fancy Feast cans.  I wanted to create something that was bright, fun, and it all started to come together.  I named my piece "Milo's Heaven" and was inspired by my rescue cat Milo.  Milo runs, sits on command, and meows for Fancy Feast, his needs and desires in his little life are fueled by his appetite.  I figured that Milo's true heaven would be an endless supply of food, so I thought the title was fitting for what I was trying to accomplish."

What other efforts do you make to decrease your carbon footprint?

"I recycle... EVERYTHING.  I also am neurotic about turning off lights and water.  I am also a vegetarian for animal reasons, but also due to the lesser energy required to produce the items that I consume."

What are your current  adventures as an Artist?

"Trying to figure that out! My dream has always been to be an artist and unfortunately I pursued Chemical Engineering in school and went on a path out of college into a very technical field and now I'm in another corporate job.  I have been trying to paint and create on my spare time and figure out a way how to launch myself as an artist.  Right now, I am reaching out to my friends with pets to use them as subjects to build a portfolio... we'll see what happens or
what path presents, but I can say I'm darned determined!!"

Describe yourself using 5 words:

"Intellectual, Eclectic, Eccentric, Honest, Spontaneous"

Who  or what influences your art?

"Andy Warhol. Warhol's ability to take simple icons, imagery, and elements from society and turn them into art while almost laughing at society at the same time was genius."

 How has this experience affected you?

"This experience has affected me in a tremendous way, many of the feelings that I experienced can not be described in words.  First, I was able to meet like minded individuals fueled by their passion for their art and their cats and for once in a long time I felt comfort and support in a network of really incredible people.  I have always lacked confidence in my artistic ability despite the constant encouragement and support that I have always received from my family and close friends.  I always kid with my parents that they say they love my art because I am their kid and they are being good parents, they always laugh when I say this.  But in all honesty, to see strangers looking (with interest) at what I created and generating kind comments, I can't even describe the feeling that it evoked from me.  For once, I received the motivation and confidence that I needed to validate myself as an "artist." Even having a name tag at the event that even said my name with "artist" underneath was incredible.  To know that my art is bringing awareness for a good cause and a large initiative was further reinforcing.  This event reignited my passion for art and proved to me what had been buried in my soul for 10 years, that I must pursue my dream."

How can someone find you online if they are interested in finding out more about your art?

I am currently working on creating a website, but until then either Facebook or email is the best way to contact me.  My email address is kiraalexis@gmail.com

To bid on Kira's "Milo's Heaven" follow this link.


  1. Thanks Cherri!!! This is sooo cool! I agree with what you said in the opening paragraph, I think we all felt like celebrities that night!! I truly do believe that there are several avenues for us cat loving artsy people... and I think bringing awareness to the public through art is just brilliant!! Thanks so much!!! hugs!-kira

  2. Wonderful interview! I LOVED Kira's work when i saw it at the RePURRPOSED Gallery and it's so interesting she said Andy Warhol because that's TOTALLY what I thought when i saw her awesome piece. It took me a while to figure out that the lids were real cans - she did such a great job!

  3. I really enjoyed this interview, and Kira's work. As an artist, it's nice to learn the back story...very inspiring for me. I have 5 cats of my own, and am working on a project. This really hit's home.


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