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The Pastels of Kirk Campaña

Carolyn Henderson: Talk About Art


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Generally, at the doctor's office, the last thing most of us think about are gently flowing brooks, rippling grass in a mountain meadow, and the most fragile of butterflies poised on a flower.

At the time he is treating patients, urgent care physician Kirk Campaña isn't thinking about these things either, but after hours, when he is at home on his property in Eagle, Ida., the doctor who is also an artist focuses on the world's beauty.

"I find nature and the natural world beautiful, complex, and full of patterns and rhythms, similar to the human body," says Campaña, who sculpts as well as paints in oil, watercolor, and pastel.

An artist from childhood, Campaña kept his hand in the field even during the grueling schedule of medical school, always carving time for an art class. Describing art as a universal tool that humans practice in order to process and understand one's world and self, Campaña notes that, while most people explore art in childhood, by adulthood most have given it up.

"I never did."

Campaña's present medium of choice is pastel, which he likes to smudge and smear with his finger or entire hand, fully immersing himself in the project. His subject of choice ranges around the land where he lives, encompassing sweeping panoramic views as well as quiet, secluded enclaves – the type that encourage one to whisper, if one must talk at all.

A collection of Campaña's work is presently on display at Wenaha Gallery in Dayton and will be there through June 30. The gallery is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.


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