Artist Spotlight: Kevin Warth
Our teenage years are a time of self-discover; we figure out our strengths, interests, and passions. We often plan our futures, scrap them, and then plan again as we learn more about ourselves. Kevin Warth, an interdisciplinary artist here at Mellwood, was no exception. Initially, Kevin had charted a path which would ultimately take him to med school. At 16, he took his first photography class, which completely changed the trajectory of his life.
Through that class, he discovered part of himself he didn’t know existed before. He found a passion to create, a passion he knew he needed to follow in college. Halfway into his college years, Kevin identified what would be the focus of his art: identity, sexuality, and the body. He found that he enjoyed exploring these topics and drawing comparisons between lived experience and the cultural norms pushed by mass media, advertising in particular. In his photography, Kevin tries to find new ways to interpret the home and family while subverting the dominant social narratives.
During his time in college, Kevin took a fiber arts course to fulfill a requirement for his major. At the time, he had very little enthusiasm or interest in the medium. It wasn’t until after he had graduated and took on a studio here at Mellwood that he began to experiment with it. As he played with fiber art more, he found ways to incorporate his experience as a photographer, desire to subvert norms, and explore identity with this new medium. His embroidery portraiture examines the AIDS crisis, how it impacts the LGBTQ community today, and highlights those who passed away from HIV/AIDS complications.