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Sculpture with a soul: Kim Kori

As a child, Kim Kori had dreams of traveling to many parts of the world. She was shy and spent much of her time in her room drawing, painting and reading about foreign lands. So strong was her wanderlust, that at 18, after having her plans to attend college shattered, she found a way to travel from Pennsylvania to California - thus her “flower-child” journey began.

In her exploration of California, Kori learned many arts and crafts, including intricate embroidery, designing and making clothing for one-of-a-kind boutiques, leather work, spinning and dyeing wool, and scrimshaw (the art of etching ivory).

Fate brought Kori to Sedona in the late 1970’s. Here, she continued to develop her scrimshaw skills and earned a reputation as one of the best in this field. She also learned other art forms including jewelry making and fine woodworking.

In the 80’s, Kori took a job in a fine-art foundry where she learned the process of bronze casting and became very skilled in finishing the waxes from which the sculptures were cast. At this time, Kori began her love affair with sculpting by doing some of her own creations. “Suddenly, I was addicted to sculpting. For years, I worked for other artists day and night to save money so that I could cast my own pieces.”

Kori’s life has been laced with sadness and difficult times, but there was always one constant - the strong desire to be an artist. “Instead of dwelling on the sad times in my life, I try to be grateful for my artistic gift. My creative spirit has kept me alive and I’m fortunate for that.”

Kori started her sculpting career with no funds. It took many devoted hours of hard work, with a very minimal social life, to reach her goal of being a professional sculptor. Her efforts have paid off and she now has a thriving career. Her work is in private collections in many parts of the world and has been purchased for public placement in Loveland, Colorado; Orange County, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Ontario, Canada; Bellevue, Nebraska; and Winterthur, Switzerland.

Kori has combined her love of flora and fauna with her lively imagination to create sculptures that entwine magic with reality. She has a tremendous ability to give her sculptures an enchanting quality that transports viewers to that rare place between the believable and the unbelievable.

“Several people have told me the animals I sculpt have souls. I couldn’t ask for a greater compliment.” Kori’s home is surrounded by majestic landscape and abundant wildlife. She continues to be an avid student of nature here as she studies the native plants and creatures that visit her yard.

As for her travels, so far, she has been to many parts of America and going to foreign countries is the next big goal on her list of dreams to realize.

A collection of Kori’s sculptures can be seen in Sedona at Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art, 561 Hwy. 179, 520-282-1125

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