Waitsburg-based artist Kimi Bruzas enjoys adding humorous twists to her collages with artwork titles like “Gambling Goat” and “Recreational Seaweed.”
The soon-to-be three-time participant in ArtSquared — the annual fundraiser for nonprofit ArtWalla — began her career as an artist only four years ago, but has already established herself on the local art scene as a watercolorist and collagist.
Much of Bruzas’ artwork is on display and available for purchase at Gaudy Gals in Waitsburg, a vintage gift shop she opened on Feb. 22 with sister Lori Davis.
Although the shop closed three weeks later due to the coronavirus quarantine, it reopened in late May.
In their shop, Bruzas’ collages and watercolor paintings adorn the walls alongside refurbished antique furniture and a variety of collage cards — particularly popular with customers.
Bruzas’ work can also be viewed on her Facebook page, ubne.ws/3hQWyUT.
She first began watercoloring after moving to Waitsburg four years ago from Tacoma.
“My husband passed away in September of 2015, so I moved out here six months later and that’s when I started — through grief — and the first winter I was here I was snowed in for three weeks, so that’s when I started watercoloring,” Bruzas said.
Creating art was therapeutic and, while of course she’s always happy to sell a piece of art, she enjoys making art for herself.
After starting out in watercolors, she fell in love with collaging two years ago and has primarily switched over to the medium.
Bruzas likes searching for interesting snippets to cut out, and seeks out old books and magazines from thrift stores to find interesting collaging material.
Another important part of Bruzas’ creative process is music.
“A lot of times I get my inspiration from music. I’ll be listening to a song and a vision of something will pop in my head, and I’ll start pulling books and try to put something together based on music.”
For some of her collages, Bruzas names them after the song title that inspired them, such as “American Girl,” by Tom Petty, “L.A. Woman,” by The Doors, and “Whiskey Glasses,” by Morgan Wallen. On her art Facebook page, she also posts videos of her collages with their accompanying song playing in the background to showcase her artistic process.
Bruzas believes collage is such a compelling medium because everyone has different interpretations, and thus finds different meanings in the mashed up images.