Anesthesiologist blooms as botanical artist

News Archive March 27, 2014

Anesthesiologist blooms as botanical artist

While at work, obstetric anesthesiologist Ku-Mie Kim, MD, PhD, provides comfort to women during childbirth. In her life outside of Loyola, she uses her soothing talents as an internationally recognized botanical artist.

Dr. Kim earned a botanical art certificate from the Morton Arboretum in Lisle in 2006 after four years of juggling her clinical duties and evening classes. The courses taught her to capture the beauty of flora using colored pencil, pen and ink and watercolor. Among these, watercolor became her favorite medium.

 “I have always had a strong interest in art,” said Dr. Kim, professor and director of Obstetrical Anesthesia for the Department of Anesthesiology. “I find being a botanical artist very spiritual, because I can appreciate the wonder of creation.”

Dr. Kim finds inspiration in plants mostly in her garden. In order to depict the three-dimensional rendition, she places the specimen in front of her. She pencils in the composition first, and then paints various layers. The entire process can take several days.

Dr. Kim’s work will be displayed during Loyola’s next installment of “Art in the Atrium” series. The exhibit, titled “Discovering God’s Wonders in Nature,” will be open to the public from Monday, April 14 – Friday, May 9, in the Stritch School of Medicine. Admission is free. An opening reception for the artist will take place from noon – 2 p.m. on Monday, April 14, in the atrium. All Loyola students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend.

Dr. Kim’s artwork has been displayed in internationally juried botanical exhibitions by the American Society of Botanical Artists at the Phoenix Art Museum (2009), the New York Horticultural Society (2013), Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia (2013) and Filoli Garden in California (2012). She was the featured artist at the Nature Artists’ Guild Annual Holiday Show of Morton Arboretum in 2011. Dr. Kim also has received several awards locally and internationally, including the silver medal at the 7th Annual Botanical Images of Scotland, Edinburgh in 2011.

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