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Reception + Artist Talk: Blythe King, "Two Sides of the Same Coin"

A coin flip offers a quick, absolute, but equitable means for settling disputes. It amplifies hope and changes fortunes. It is this transformative promise that inspires Blythe King’s latest series. Her portraits expose the complexities of feminine identity. They challenge conventional attitudes that suppress access and diminish stature. King rescues commercial clippings from Montgomery Ward catalogs and emboldens them with elements of Eastern iconography. Her women become gods. A mere glance from these deities burns away the hazy veil of objectification — too powerful to be obscured. The familiar gives way to the sacred. Motivations rise. While a coin may initially seem worn or common, look closer!

Blythe King is an emerging mixed media talent who currently breaks new ground in collage, photography, and the ancient art of gold leafing.  She has exhibited in six U.S. states (GA, IL, MA, PA, SC, VA) plus the District of Columbia. Born in Pittsburgh, her work is influenced by two legacies — the whimsical, social commentary of hometown hero Andy Warhol forged with traditional Steel Town resolve. King studied religion and art at the University of Richmond. She practiced Zen calligraphy with Stephen Addiss (The Art of Zen77 DancesOld Taoist). But it was a textile startup in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana that brought her journey into focus. For iSockits, King fashioned tablet cases from vintage women’s shirts. Her latest project, Two Sides of the Same Coin, opens a fresh discourse around women’s issues. King teaches creativity through the Visual Arts Center to seniors, veterans, and middle school students from underserved communities in Richmond.