If you’ve taken a walk around North Park recently, you’re familiar with Kim Curran’s work. Her iconic murals, the bold-striped “Explore North Park” and the spray-paint look “Love Where You Live,” adorn walls and utility boxes along University and seem tailor-made for Instagram.
I sat down with Kim recently to chat about her journey.
More than 20 years ago, Kim’s friend Richard coaxed her to North Park, where she’s been living ever since. Now married, she and Richard are raising two native North Park kids and one dog.
Kim’s creative journey started when she became a photographer, her calling for more than 15 years. When the itch to change careers overtook her, she dabbled in a few things (real estate was one of them!), but finally realized she was an artist at heart. All she needed was a new medium, and that’s when she discovered paint.
Kim’s art is inspired by North Park — the combination of old and new buildings, the glorious diversity of its residents, and both the beauty and the grit. “It gives me permission to create, as if imperfection is the new perfection.”
I asked Kim about the genesis of her “Love Where You Live” series. Kim was preparing for her first solo art show in 2018 and, while she was excited about the show, the seeds of self-doubt began to grow. The overwhelming stress of preparation was making her ill. Time was running out and her backyard studio had been rained out for a week. When the rain finally stopped, she began producing art, though still sick and stressed. It was only when she decided to put the show out of her mind, enjoy the process, and paint from her heart, when “Love Where You Live” jumped onto the canvas.
Kim’s work has caused a buzz in North Park, but her favorite response to her work was while she was painting the murals on the street. Approached by a father and his little girl named Lyric, Kim gave the child a paintbrush to add her touch to the mural. In return, Lyric sang a song for Kim, who says, “It had me in tears.”
Besides her iconic murals, Kim Curran is known for her abstract art, like this piece she created for a show at Art on 30th. To see more art, learn about upcoming shows, and purchase originals and prints, find Kim on Instagram: @kimcurranpaints