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Kayla Bates was born and works in Des Moines, Iowa. She is currently working toward her Bachelor degree in art education and studio art, along with a minor in photography. Kayla plans to finish her degree at Grand View University in April 2018. She is hoping to teach art in the Des Moines area in a high school. She has been working with children of all ages since the age of fifteen. She loves working with children of all ages and seeing how excited they are to learn and how students develop their skills over time. Kayla has been in several group art shows during her time at Grand View and won several awards including honorable mentions and second place. Kayla’s art and photography has been published in Bifrost Literary Journal two times and in Sagebrush Review Vol.XII: Fracture. Upcoming shows include her senior show exhibition in spring 2018. 

At first the perception of my art pieces is they look just pretty but there is more behind it through the concepts. It’s easy to hide behind the surface, with my work I want to show it is okay to not hide and show yourself. All of us show one side but we rarely see below the surface where all the insecurities are and how they originated. There’s always positive and negative experiences and people. We never talk about the negative because it is uncomfortable and makes us vulnerable. As humans, we always want to be in control of ourselves and look in control. I am guilty of this too. As I have struggled with others controlling me. My work focuses on myself gaining control and showing others it is okay to talk about these things even in subtle ways.  

I gain control in my artwork through the techniques and subject I use. The tedious mark marking of stippling, calligraphy and detailed line relaxes me. I want to draw you in through the small details to appreciate the time-consuming details and process of the pieces. In my life, I have had lots of moments where I feel out of control which drives me crazy. Using controlling mark making in my art helps me to gain back this power. Not only does my mark making and techniques focus on these ideas of control but so do my ideas and concepts. The work focuses on figures as a way to symbolize someone or something. My work with the controlled technique of stippling structures the images by creating focus on a colorless focal point. The colorless focal point is to represent what is being controlled.

            In my life, I have struggled with being controlled by others including family, friends, and significant others to the point it has broken me down. A lot of my artwork now is about these experiences. When creating work, I hope it not only empowers me and makes me feel in control but also helps my viewers to feel this way too. I achieve this with one the art process which helps me feel in control and empowered. Everyone goes through shitty times in life but not always wants to talk about it. The subject matter, posing and techniques gives viewers the ideas of gaining control. I want to use my art work to talk about these situations that people are not always comfortable or open to talk about in subtle ways.