Kiki Slaughter '01: Artist

A Charlottesville native, Kiki Slaughter graduated from St. Anne's-Belfield School, which her mother also attended, in 2001. Kiki went on to receive her B.A. in studio art and art history from the University of Virginia and an M.A. in contemporary art from Sotheby's Institute of Art, London.

Now a full-time professional artist, Kiki lived in New York City and Charlottesville before recently relocating to Atlanta for her husband's job. Her paintings have been in numerous shows and are permanently displayed in many locations, from homes to businesses. The August/September 2013 issue of Garden & Gun Magazine featured her as one of 15 of "the South's New Tastemakers."

With a heart for service, Kiki has donated her art to many charitable causes – including the School's bi-annual Auctions.

When and how did your art interest develop?
Art has always been part of my life. When I was young, I threw paint around and drew with chalk on sidewalks. My private tutor, the late Karen Shea Silverman, hugely influenced me. When I sold out my first show – as a fourth-year U.Va. student – I began to really believe, "I can actually do this as a living!"

What influence did St. Anne's-Belfield School have on you?
In addition to helping me get into U.Va., STAB taught me how to work hard. That work ethic is very important as a full-time artist. I learned how to handle freedom responsibly and manage my time. All my STAB teachers were wonderful, but I especially enjoyed Janet Moore-Coll, my photography teacher and yearbook advisor.

Describe the style and inspiration of your art.
I paint with oil on canvas, sometimes mixing acrylic and oil. I love the messiness and freedom of paint. I'm inspired by my surroundings, especially mountains, landscapes, and the ocean, but also little things like a torn movie poster on a New York subway. I soak in everything – textures, the interplay of colors. My art is entirely abstract but draws from my surroundings, similar to Abstract Expressionism.

What is your creative process?
It's a process of experimentation – I paint in the moment. When I work, I take over my entire studio, jumping from painting to painting, withup to 20 going at a time.

What's in your future?
Being in a big city, I can see my paintings turning more industrial and less landscape-inspired. I'm also excited to be launching a scarf line, called Kikson, with my longtime friend Greyson Kirby in the near future. The scarves will feature my paintings printed on linen and cashmere.


Photo credit: Andrea Shirey
Text by Jenny M. Abel

This article originally appeared in the winter 2014 issue of Perspectives magazine