Ellie Kingsbury

Mentor Philosophy

You have art inside you. You have a unique vision and a unique story to tell. Only you can make your art. If you know your path, then we can work on resources, goal-setting, and development.   I will be there to help answer questions, and I’ll also ask you to consider answering questions too. If your path is unclear, then let’s work on casting aside any limiting opinions or assumptions.

If you’re interested in the mentorship program, your’ve already taken that first step towards being the artist you want to be. There are visual endorphins to be made, to be had, and to call your own. This is your opportunity.

I have had a camera in my hands since 8th grade. I’ve had fine art and commercial experience for over 25 years. I also have been a protégée of the WARM mentorship program. I can’t say enough about how much I grew during that mentorship, knowing my mentor was taking me and my work seriously. And it isn’t just an isolated relationship – when you’re in a room with WARM mentors and protégées, everyone is taking you seriously. When’s the last time you had that?

I’m impressed with all the mentors in WARM, for each recognizes that the protégée is in the driver’s seat. We are not, however, merely cheerleaders. Consider this mentorship to be a time of production, a safe place to wonder out loud and fearlessly, a soft place to fall, and definitely a place to grow.

Artist Statement

I create an honored space for ordinary things.  My subjects may seem incongruent – people, produce, studies of detritus – but I work to expose the shared experience of sturdiness in the cycle of life.  Whether animal, mineral, or vegetable, I strive to do a character study in still life form.  Pock marks, irregular shapes and wrinkles may be evident in some images; a creamy beauty shows in others.  Through both a narrative of the nuances of life begins to materialize.

The last gallery might seem like an anomaly.  “Unimpeded” is a portrait study of winter bike commuters.  I’ve been a year-round biker in Minneapolis for the past eight years, and I’ve noticed a huge rise in winter riders each year.  Since we are so often shrouded in darkness and protective clothing, I thought it fitting to put a face to the rest of the community.  One might assume winter bikers are all 20-something barristas, but I’ve photographed doctors, warehouse workers, teachers, accountants, writers, community advocates and more.  There is little nuance about these riders, but I think they share the experience of sturdiness with my other photographic subjects.