Photography, Event Planning
When Kaiti McDonough thinks of her photography, or of life, or of the artistic community in Jackson, she thinks in layers.
She started with art early, as a kid, crafting things with her mother's materials. That, combined with her father's love and appreciation of nature, makes her photography rich with depth and overlays.
Together with artists in The Singularity, Kaiti thinks of artists in many layers, too: experience level, professional or hobbyist, optimist or pessimist.
Even her career has taken on layers, from teaching to art curation to event planning.
Kaiti sees her main artistic outlet as photography. That started with a point and shoot camera in high school, posing friends in nature and getting lost on adventures. That all changed when she met Doug Jones. Could she do some live art photos for an upcoming show?
A digital single lens reflex (DSLR - the fancy ones with interchangeable lenses) later, and she was off making art.
Her style comes from, you guessed it, layers: double exposures, overlays, textures, blending one image into another. The idea came after she saw artists working on body paintings - making one idea on top of another. The photos do more than document a scene or a moment. They pull you in and make you think.
"It's always related to nature, and silhouettes," Kaiti says. "I've had a love for silhouettes for years now. So I realized when I put two things together - bodies, hands, leaves - I was forcing myself to think outside the box. I wanted something that made you look closer."
To achieve her style, Kaiti blends images mostly in camera, with a bit of Photoshop work.
"As soon as I discovered my camera had this option, I went to town," she says. "This was it."
Kaiti explores her creativity in other ways, too, like sewing, and working with resin on wooden boards to frame her work.
“There's potential everywhere, in our artists and our city.”
Another form of artistic expression: working with other artists in Jackson, and The Singularity, to highlight the local creative community. Kaiti was one of the co-founders of The Singularity, and has found her calling organizing and marketing events. The idea of getting artists together and putting on a show - a hang-out session, with meaning - was immediately appealing to her.
"I loved the feeling of bringing everyone together, and doing something for an evening with all your friends," Kaiti says. "Four and a half years later, I know what I want to go to college for. I want to know more about event planning and marketing, while still working on freelance photography."
As a fine art photographer, Kaiti recommends getting into local shows as they start, while they're small and affordable. And to be consistent at getting your work out there.
"If you have a good product, and you can make a lot of it, get into small and big art shows - you have to keep pushing at it."
She’s also optimistic about Jackson’s home-grown art market. With groups like The Singularity, the How Bazaar show downtown, and the growing collaboration between artists - as well as her own work to get more art in front of viewers - Kaiti sees it as a growth opportunity.
"Just seeing everything grow, artists being taken seriously, there's a market for art,” she says. "There's potential everywhere, in our artists and our city. Jackson's so little, it's growing right before our very eyes."