The last time I saw artist-teacher-activist Kim Loucks was a year ago at the Ventura ArtWalk. Loucks, who died in July, was stationed at the Turning Point Foundation building, ebullient and proudly showing off the works of her art therapy students.
As much as she was interested in developing her own art, Loucks was equally intent on imparting inspiration to others and stirring up action. Five years ago, her show of literal junk sculptures, "Trash Totems," emphasized ecological aspects alongside aesthetics.
Where she went, a sense of a scene followed. So there was a bittersweet air to last Friday's ArtWalk instead of the usual holiday cheer. The most compelling exhibit was the small showing of Loucks' art, including a reflective self-portrait, in the Ventura Bookstore, which continues to be on display. This is the kickoff of the Kim Loucks Community Arts Project, a budding arts education program.
Meanwhile, at the Turning Point Foundation last Friday, a feeling of her absence was palpable. Amid the art of Turning Point clients, we find a couple of Loucks' large pieces featuring faceless, amorphous figures adrift in some indefinable, possibly interplanetary landscape.