Kansas artist turns Summit Daily newspaper into abstract pieces
The amount of creativity in Summit County is an inspiring and communal feeling that can warm the heart on chilly nights. There are talented people throughout these small towns, each offering their own unique spin on the daily. Sometimes, even on the Summit Daily.
Artist Kerry Rayl is a massage therapist and storm chaser in Hutchinson, Kansas, but her heart remains in Summit.
“I love Summit County,” she said. “Someday, my husband and I want to move up there.”
She spends her free time painting abstract pieces using chicken wire, koozies and Summit Daily newspaper.
She has been painting for about five years, and it is her go-to for creative release.
“I tried drawing and stuff but no — I just paint with acrylics. Everything else is too hard,” she said.
The idea to use the Summit Daily papers came almost naturally to Rayl, and she picks and chooses what she would like to put in her paintings.
“My son lives up there, and, when we come up, we get the Summit Daily News and read it,” she said. “I read the paper, so, if I see an article, I want to put in a painting. The one I’m working on now I’m just taking colorful strips.”
She loves the atmosphere in Summit, from the sports like snowboarding and skiing to the landscapes. She said that nothing ever happens in her home town in Kansas, which is one of the reasons why she uses the Summit Daily as art.
“Nothing ever happens here, you know?” she said. “The only time it’s anything exciting is if we have a tornado.”
She takes to abstract because of the freedom of expression it brings and the questions it raises.
“When I first started out, I did more detail but it wasn’t fun,” she said. “I like the abstract, and people ask me, ‘What is it?’ and I ask, ‘What do you think it is?’ There’s so much to look at. You can actually read some of the articles.”
As far as what she uses for her artwork, minus the Summit Daily print, anything goes. Rayl takes everyday items, ones that most people would throw away, and uses it for her work.
“My son says I’m a re-purpose artist,” she said. “A friend of mine orders from this eco-friendly company, and she gets this eco-friendly packing paper, and I use that. I have chicken wire. It’s normally stuff that people throw away, and I’ll save and put it in the painting.”
She has her paintings hanging in a cupcake shop in her hometown and participates in some exhibits around her area. She once saw an article on Vinny’s in Frisco and made a painting out of that to give to the owners who are also friends of hers. Rumor has it that some of her work will be hanging in a brewery in Breckenridge in the future. Although Rayl herself admits to being shy, it’s her son that seems to really promote her art.
“I was out there a couple of weeks ago, and my son said, ‘Bring your paintings, Mom and we’ll go around. You need to get your paintings to the Summit Daily and the galleries out here,’” she said. “When I got home, my son sent me this article he saw on Facebook or something calling for local artists.”
She took the first step and contacted the man who was asking for artists, and he seemed eager to have her paintings, calling it the “look he was going for.”
“I told him, ‘I do have to confess,’” she said. “I’m not a local. I’m up there a lot, my son is there and he said, ‘I don’t care.’ That was cool.”
Rayl normally receives good reactions from her abstract work and tries to listen to what her fellow Kansas neighbors have to say. Summit County offers more than what people are used to, including marijuana shops, and she always has a few of their ads in her artwork.
“Most of the time, it’s a good reaction,” she said. “This art fair we went to in October, the ladies would look at it and go, ‘That’s different,’ but the men would study it.”
She admits that the marijuana ads weren’t the only driving force behind people’s reactions. She believes it’s what we have to offer and what we do on a daily basis that really piques someone’s interest.
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