Stories Behind the Artists

Photo of Holly-Kai Hurd       

Holly-Kai Hurd
Mixed Media Faculty & Faculty Board Member

How did you first get involved with ASLD and when?
I first got involved with Art Students League of Denver about 4 Years ago in a consulting capacity when I  created an event for them called Lights of The Round Table consisting of artists of color from around the city that started a conversation about important issues around diversity is arts community and serving communities of color.  An effort to bridge two communities. From there I ended up teaching here!

How has ASLD shaped you as an artist?
ASLD has shaped me as an artist in the way that it has allowed me to stretch out and ultimately grow, which is always the goal. I never stated specifically what I wanted to do here beyond teaching, but I’ve always felt our relationship is a little magic because the things they’ve approached me about being involved in have always been things that are exactly my THING. Like working with the Plaza Program in the libraries or The Gathering Place. My background  was community organizing as well. Sometimes in an artistic capacity and sometimes not.  It’s important to me to be around other artists and people that are serious about art but it’s even more important to me to be among “the people in my neighborhood” (as sesame street would say) and my community that may not typically move in these art circles. As artists we know the benefits of the creation process and sometimes others don’t so I feel like community interaction often affords me the privilege of introducing people to that or simply creating in community which ALWAYS encourages what I feel is positive interaction and a certain level of openness among strangers! THat can be both fun and enlightening but is ultimately how community strengthened and brought together! Other opportunities presented to me such as serving on the board have supported my growth as both artist and business person beyond my own personal arts business and affairs. It’s a huge learning experience.

What faculty members have you taken courses with as ASLD?
I took classes from Deborah Bays, my favorite and Kim Putnam. When Dawn Williams Boyd, a Visiting Artist came I took her fabric portraits class and the recent workshop with Visiting Artist Gregg Deal.  This year I hope to get back to taking  even more classes, some print classes and millinery to name a few.  –Also, I love that we can take classes here as well! Honestly sometimes I forget I have this option.

What do you like about the ASLD community?
I like the openness of the ASLD community. I think that’s priceless in a creative community and sadly there are many organizations or companies that say that’s what they want to represent, but they also really want to control how artists do that and what that looks like. Art and being a professional artist is largely about having the freedom to speak to what you feel’s important and drawing people into that aesthetic or idea. –Or pulling people into a thought or idea VIA an aesthetic. To censor or control or an artists voice really limits the power and reach  of art and I don’t think that anyone who understands art or is serious about learning art would ever want that.