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Unexpected Inspiration

9/6/17

Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

“Be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best” is a guide to a full and balanced life, according to Don Miguel Ruiz, in his book “The Four Agreements.” Local artist Kevin Blair Moore can attest to the value of following your own truth in discovering and developing a life filled with creative expression and peace.

Born and raised in southwest Detroit, Michigan, Kevin remembers his mom working 60-hour weeks to raise four children in a very rough neighborhood. Regardless of the challenges, she was determined to create a warm and inviting space for the family. Refinished secondhand furniture filled the modest space with quiet elegance, opera formed the musical backdrop for her solos on cleaning day, while magnificently rendered paintings of faraway places surrounded the occupants with future possibilities. Kevin’s mom also crafted pottery that served a variety of purposes in her household, as well as thoughtful gifts for family and friends. Yes, she was the first true inspiration in art of living a creative, generous, and full life.

Growing up in this environment set the stage for Kevin attaining degrees in Business and Interior Design from the American Institute for Interior Design in Fountain Hills, AZ. During this time, he fine-tuned his own creative sense in interior design by delving deeply into the ever-fascinating study of art history. To reinforce the knowledge he had gained, Kevin hoisted on a backpack and took off to see the real thing with a two-month trip through Europe for his humanities studies.

Returning to the States, Kevin then stepped off into a 25-year career in the retail sector, where he rose to the position of Vice President for Geoffrey Beene clothing. Yet, with the yearning for less corporation and more creation, Kevin stepped out of the pressure cooker of high end design and went back to school to retool and refresh. But Kevin’s life was about to take an unexpected turn. Three years ago, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, resulting in an assault that left him with hearing loss in one ear, tinnitus, short term memory challenges, and a number of scars. If that was not enough to sidetrack him, in October 2016, Kevin suffered a health crisis when he was diagnosed with a bone degeneration condition that he describes as, “It put me in a wheelchair, boarding a plane for Detroit, to say goodbye to his two brothers, who are my best friends.” What Kevin didn’t know at the time was that he was not finished yet!

To the surprise of everyone around him, Kevin slowly began to recover. Through the reconstruction process, Kevin learned to paint as part of his healing. Although trained in design, painting on a canvas presented new challenges with the manipulation of the paints on flat surfaces, but Kevin found the entire process calming and healing, as well as thought provoking. Ultimately, according to Kevin, painting is his Xanax! He considers each day as full of opportunity and possibility to create beauty that others can enjoy.

Presently, Kevin enjoys participating in the Roosevelt Row Artwalks, in downtown Phoenix, where he enjoys meeting his clients and potential clients and sharing their joy in the creative experience. Kevin is also a featured artist at Storm Wisdom in Phoenix, www.stormwisdom.com. Storm Wisdom’s displays allows clients the experience of “being” with Kevin Blair Moore’s art, honestly stunning. Kevin also maintains his webstore, The Edge Art Studio, at www.theedgeartstudio.com. There you may see a wide variety of pieces and acquire a sense of Kevin’s unique design and creative sensibility. His contact information is available on the site for questions or to purchase or commission a piece. As Kevin has illustrated, a life of honesty, generosity with others as well as yourself, not taking anything personally, and always doing your best, ultimately nurtures the spirit of the collective “whole.”

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at flowingquill@yahoo.com.