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ABOUT THE ARTIST
Kat Furtado is a contemporary mixed-media artist from San Diego, California. Kat is a certified and licensed Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) with a Master's of Art in Communication Science and Disorders. Her background as an SLP informs her creative endeavors. Storytelling, emotions, and recurrent themes of humanity are woven with care into her ethereal, abstract artwork. To Furtado, art is an extension of non-verbal communication, and validation of the human experience. Because communication continues to be the only true link between sentient beings, Furtado creates art as an essential communicative endeavor.
Furtado became a mother in 2015. The transformation within motherhood was the catalyst for her third career (SLP, motherhood, artist), wherein she realized that parenting two small children required her to do the bravest thing she could imagine: something new. She became a full-time artist in December of 2020. This is her first solo exhibition.
Furtado has sold out multiple self-released collections of original small works and print releases. She has collectors worldwide. Her artwork has been featured in multiple virtual juried exhibitions and in upcoming publications (through the Woman United Art Movement and "The Huts" Magazine). As part of the “Taking.Up.Space” Initiative, Furtado coordinated, co-created, and participated in "Attachment; Abbreviated.” – a virtual exhibition featuring shared, swapped, and changed materials between artists on opposite ends of the world. Furtado also completed an artist residency through the Artist Mother Podcast Community in March of 2022. Since October of 2021, she has successfully self-released product lines featuring her illustrative work, sold through her website.
When she isn’t creating art, she can be found cuddling with any combination of her two kids and two rescued pets. True to motherhood, there's almost always someone on her lap. true to being an artist, there's always paint in her hair and on her clothes.
My work as an artist is discovering where storytelling, visual language, and sense-of-self intersect. Lived experiences shape our perception, which influences what we understand and how we understand it. These ideas form how we operate within the world and what we see or don’t see. This is why composing tactile collage is so endlessly thrilling to me. I use sculpting media, transparent substrates, monoprints, stitching, and all forms of paint to build textured mixed-media reliefs in meticulous layers. For the sake of composition, my favorite parts of a painting are often covered in this process. They aren’t lost. They exist, unseen by the onlooker, but known to me and informing my process of creating art.
My artwork overtly embodies organic, oceanic, and botanical shapes from my life in Southern California, as well as figurative and anatomical structures of human forms. I
love the tension of soft textures and hard lines, transparency with opacity, and motion in dialogue with stability. Circular shapes in my art represent continuity, momentum, and change. Recent works reference medical imaging (shapes, lines, and color values in scans of my own eyes, vocal folds, breasts, and uterus), mental health (experiences with depression, anxiety, and the tax of longterm medical scares), and motherhood (especially through the pandemic).
Art allows me to curate this potential: I excavate and construct that which is but which cannot always be seen. Over time, I carefully coax materials together. As I work, I navigate every piece with the scientific curiosity of my clinical field (Speech-Language Pathology), capturing carefully unfolding narratives, layer by layer, as they evolve. The body of work presented in this exhibition was composed within these layers: storytelling in strata, examining moments both exceptional and ordinary.