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Meet Kaleigh Fitzgerald of The Art of Kaleigh Marie Fitzgerald in Metro Atlanta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaleigh Fitzgerald.

Kaleigh, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Though Atlanta has been my home over the last 15 years, my story begins up north in Canada, where I was born and where my large extended family lives. However, I only lived in Canada for a few years before my father’s job took our family down to south Florida. My family spent nine years there before moving to Atlanta, Georgia. Experiencing these transitions as a young girl, I developed early on a passion for language, traveling, art, and learning about other cultures. I took my first drawing classes when I was just eight years old and, from then on, I was constantly reading, writing, collaging, and drawing.

Be that as it may, it would be many years before I would see how all of my interests amounted into a career. My parents have always told me that I will accomplish whatever I set my mind to, but schools propagate the arts as more of a hobby than a career. It was not until a fateful conversation with a stranger in Little 5 Points that I would realize I had been mislead by an outdated education system. I listened as this woman spoke about her role as a teacher in a center for the arts and she described this beautiful, flourishing art community she was a part of. Prior to this conversation, I had fractured my skull and I was drawing, painting, and sculpting these vacant and demolished homes to express the effects of the accident on my mind. The realization that I could cultivate my artistic practice and find success on this path changed my mindset and I have experienced enormous growth as result.

I committed to making reality my dream of being a working artist and businesswoman. I applied to the Bachelors of Fine Arts program at Georgia State University. In just a few short years, I graduated from GSU with a concentration in drawing and painting. Subsequently, I have exhibited my artwork around Atlanta and in Greece and I have been fortunate enough to work for some amazing organizations around Atlanta, such as Day & Night Projects, MINT Gallery, and Art Papers. However, my main focus has been building a business around my artistic practice. I have some big projects in the works, but I can’t reveal too much of that yet!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When I was only 20 years old, I fractured my skull and a vertebra in my neck. The rehabilitation process was arduous as I fought to overcome the symptoms of dissociation and depersonalization common with brain injuries. The hardest part of the whole recovery process was to surmount the heavy fogginess and disconnection from the world around me that persisted years after my physical wounds had healed. Though it was a long time before I felt like myself again, I am happy to say I found healing and understanding through art.

Please tell us about The Art of Kaleigh Marie Fitzgerald.
I chose to pursue a career in the art industry because I believe in the healing power of art and the beauty and contemplation artists bring to their communities. I believe that art has the power to save people. I know this because it saved me. Creating allowed me to express these feelings of dissociation and depression that plagued me after my accident. During a time when words failed me, drawing, painting, and sculpting vacant and broken homes allowed me to articulate how my mind felt after withstanding such trauma.

As a result, my artwork directly explores themes of undergoing trauma and rebuilding. My paintings and installations reflect the many different ways emotions manifest themselves in the subconscious through the contemplation of the powerful symbolic and symbiotic relationship between humans and their environment. I view my work as a glimpse into the spaces existing in my subconscious mind, the surreal and vague concepts that are stored just below the surface.

I am happy to say that my practice has been expanding rapidly and I am in the middle of some big projects, all to be revealed soon! Please contact me via my website for all inquiries regarding upcoming exhibitions and the purchasing of original artworks and signed hand-altered prints.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over, I don’t think I would change anything. Of course, it hasn’t always been easy, but all of those experiences have shaped me into the person I am today and that I would not change.

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