Project Reclamation: Ada Koch

Dear Josie Mai,
Thrilled I can help in some small way.

Ada Koch-Bio
Raised near Wilmington, DE, Koch won early scholarships to the Delaware Art Museum before studying in Washington, DC and Chicago, IL. Later studies with David De Rousseau of the KCAI and personal studies in the museums of Paris, France preceded Koch's exhibitions in various galleries and museums of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Florence, Italy. She currently teaches art at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art and Artichokes in Leawood, KS. She is on the board of directors at the Kansas City Artists Coalition and was the founder of Open Studios in KC. Her art is in collections both corporate and private throughout the United States and as far away as Germany and Switzerland.

I heard about the Project Reclamation from my friend Matt who I met years ago at the Arts Incubator. I am thrilled to be a part of something to help the Spiva Arts Center as they strive to help their community. Choosing pieces of debris from the pile at the Leedy-Voulkos was not easy. The mangled pieces of metal spoke of the physical violence that people had to face and the assortment of destroyed books, furniture, and personal items sent chills down my back - especially the children's toys. I finally chose two books, one a large art history book, and a small toy clown. Originally, I had planned to make some sort of circus out of the book, but it wasn't coming together. The next week, I took a short vacation with my husband and daughter where they had a live butterfly room, filled with the beautiful fragile creatures. On the way home, I was inspired to create a piece with butterflies cut from the book and swarming out of the book in a tornado-like swirl around the clown who has been transformed into an angel with butterfly wings. Eerily, one day after working on the sculpture, I had a drink with my neighbor, Jonya Redwine, whose son lives just north of Joplin. Jonya loved the butterfly theme because of the "butterfly stories" which have come after the tornado. I had NEVER heard of them before and was even more convinced this is the right project. I came home and got onto the computer right away and found the most touching stories. You can read some on 6-The butterfly people.

My piece is called "Rebirth" and is filled with symbolism, but is meant to be positive and inspiring, as I'm sure all the art built out of debris will be. I will try and send you some photos of what I originally chose and the art piece now. I just finished it yesterday, so it will be at the LV on the first friday of August. Looking forward to seeing you there.
Best regards,
Ada Koch