Through a contemporary approach to portraiture, I explore the rich terrain of individual identity and what is revealed in the intimate moments of seeing and being seen. Working in the alla prima or direct painting tradition, I paint largely from life, seeking to capture a sense of immediacy, freshness, and depth in my portraits. From the privileged position of witnessing the other, I seek to convey the unique presence of each subject as well as our shared humanity.
Following the Women’s March, I awoke with a vision of graffiti scrawled across a portrait. The vision translated into a body of reworked portraits featuring slogans from recent political events, quotations, and my own words. The act of writing over the portraits has been empowering and liberating. The portraits move from the singular to the universal, merging image with voice.
Kate Longmaid specializes in contemporary portraiture and still life. She was one of eight artists featured in the Women to Watch 2010 exhibition “Body of Work: New Perspectives on Figure Painting” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C. The biennial series showcases emerging and underrepresented women artists in the United States and abroad.
Born outside of Philadelphia, Longmaid has always been drawn to art and an understanding of what it means to be human. She received a BA in “Psychology and Art: Theory and Practice” from the University of Michigan. Longmaid continued her studies at Parsons School of Design, the Portland School of Art, and Burlington City Arts. She has studied with Gail Salzman, Catherine Kehoe, Stanley Bielen, and Peri Schwartz.
Regionally, Longmaid was featured in the “Women to Watch 2010: Contemporary Figurative Painting” traveling exhibition curated by the Vermont Committee of the NMWA. Her work has been included in exhibits at Burlington City Arts, Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery, and Chandler Center for the Arts. Longmaid was the recipient of the Shelburne Farms Vermont Studio Center Residency Award and has attended several residencies at the Vermont Studio Center. Most recently, she was selected to participate in The Other Art Fair presented by Saatchi Art in Brooklyn. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums on the East Coast and in Canada and is held in private collections throughout the U.S.