Jimmi Toro’s Kimball Art Center’s exhibit will ‘Kindle a Light’ for art
Young Artist Academy also created works
The multi-media show, inspired by Carl Jung’s observation “as far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being,” features nearly 40 works of paintings, music videos and songs.
“I’ve always wanted to do something like this — the idea of composing music that is inspired by art or vice versa — and try to symbolically tie the two together,” Toro told The Park Record.
Five songs divide the exhibit into five sections, and there are three music videos enhancing the experience.
“Some of the videos will show some visual art,” Toro explained. “One of the things I like about going to an exhibit is seeing a body of work, rather than just one or two pieces by one artist and two or three by other artists.”
Images of faces tie the exhibit together, and Toro knows some people will connect with the art, while others may not.
“It’s a little ethereal,” he said. “Art and music are funny things. Someone can love your style of music and art, and others just don’t like it.
“That doesn’t mean it’s good or bad. It’s just some things resonate with others. So, we’ll see if the exhibit finds a connection with the audience.”
Toro discovered visual art at a young age.
“I was one of those kids who drew all the time,” he said. “I paid more attention to drawing than studying.”
That love never faded.
“I’m not the only one who had that obsession, but it stayed with me,” he said.
He discovered music a few years later.
“I wasn’t an 8-year-old musical prodigy, but sometime I found a piano, and it made sense to me,” Toro said. “Sometimes you have parents who put kids in music lessons, and the kids don’t like it, but they do it anyway. I was the opposite. I never took any lessons, but I loved it, and it took over.”
The artist said he prefers composing and writing songs more interesting than performing, and that comes down to the creative process.
“While I can draw parallels because this is what I do, I find it interesting that more musicians aren’t artists and vice versa,” he said. “The disciplines to me make a lot of sense in the creation of something.”
Toro’s creative process, like most artists, starts with a kernel of an idea.
“It’s like opening a series of doors,” he said. “You don’t know what it is door three, four, five or six, you just care about what’s in door one. Once that is fulfilled the others automatically open.”
“I’m sure there are geniuses out there who have a whole musical in their head and goes from there into a complete production onto the paper or piano. I’m not that way. I explore things.”
The works for “Kindle a Light” were created by going back-and-forth between the disciplines.
“Sometimes the art would dictate the music and sometimes the music would inspire the art,” he said. “Sometimes they happened at the same time.”
Toro’s go-to medium is oil.
“When you think of oil paint, you typically think of tubes like toothpaste you squeeze, and the paint isn’t runny,” he said. “But if you look at Jackson Pollock, he bought cans of oil paint that were more thin and runny.
“I find paint that is more runny than that. It’s like putting a touch of pigment into a full glass of oil.”
Toro paints everything flat so the paint doesn’t run off the canvas.
“I’ve tried what I think is every medium under the sun, and occasionally, I’ll mess around with something else, but generally not,” he said. “I like the fact that oils, unlike acrylics and watercolors, don’t dry quickly.
“I like that you can mess around with the painting more. The smell, however, is not the greatest thing. I can do without that.”
In addition to Toro’s art, music and videos, “Kindle a Light” will feature paintings by the Kimball Art Center’s Young Artist Academy.
The academy is a program for students who serious want to pursue a career in art.
“Last year I went and worked with these kids, and the idea was to give them not just a glimpse or assignment, but provide them a bit or reality of what it’s like to be a professional artist,” Toro said. “The art I had them do had a concept, ‘Face of the Soul, and the idea was if you want to get to know someone, you have to look deeper than what the eye can see.”
Toro had the students create works that featured a face or faces, and had them obscure the eyes.
“They needed to execute the work by a certain date, frame it, figure out a price, exhibit it and then go to the gallery and talk to people about the art,” he said. “I wanted to give the kids a full experience.”
Jimmi Toro’s “Kindle a Light,” featuring additional work by the Young Artist Academy, will be on exhibit through Nov. 26, at the Kimball Art Center, 1401 Kearns Blvd. Admission is free. For information, click here.
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