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About the Artist: Martha Ann Kennedy lives in Monte Vista, Colorado. She has been an artist all her life, but was gainfully employed for more than thirty years as a college and university writing instructor in San Diego. She loves the San Luis Valley and spends as much time as she can “out” in it. Her paintings reflect this world, not just what it looks like, but they also reveal a little something of how it feels. If there is anything in the San Luis Valley (and there is a LOT!) there is weather!
She hopes her work conveys the deep love she has for this landscape.
She is a Colorado native, born in Denver. She attended Colorado Woman’s College where she was an art major. She transferred to the University of Colorado, Boulder where she got a BA in English in 1974. She attended graduate school at the University of Denver where she earned her MA in American Literature in 1979. Her first real teaching job was at South China Teachers University in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China from 1982 to 1983.
During the late 1970s, she was the “official” artist for the YWCA of Denver. In 1981, in Denver, she had a one woman show of her figurative and landscape gouache paintings at the long vanished Cafe Nepenthes on Market Street.
After that, Martha’s life took her a lot of places, but none of them had much to do with painting until the late 2000s when she built a shed outside her house that gave her a dedicated space for painting. She was living in Descanso, a small town in the mountains east of San Diego. She joined a local art guild — the Julian Art Guild — and showed her work with that group twice a year. She also joined the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild and her figurative painting, The World is Out There, was chosen to exhibit in the juried show of expressionist paintings, “Contemporary Expressionism — The Creative Spirit” in May, 2013 at the Lyceum Gallery in San Diego. Her work, Cornflowers, was selected to exhibit in the San Diego County Fair in 2013.
In 2021, she illustrated An Alphabet of Place by Wyoming writer, Sharon Salisbury O’Toole. The illustrations are ink drawings, and doing them pushed Martha in a new, fun direction. The drawings are a combination of scenes from ranch life, frontier history and Wyoming wildlife. She has shown her work in various venues in the San Luis Valley.
She did her first painting of the San Luis Valley when she was a little girl.
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