Kimberly Maynor is an artist of mixed Cherokee and European descent working in Florence, Oregon. Maynor’s work is informed by her Native American heritage, and with no formal artistic training, she is largely self-taught. In her formative years, she was surrounded by Cherokee culture in Oklahoma and frequented Native American art museums and the Red Earth Festival. A victim of abuse, Maynor often took refuge with animals and saw them as an escape from the abuse she endured. She started painting in 2012 and found it to be highly therapeutic. She credits her art to be a healing force in her life.
Inspired by the Native American tradition of decorating animal skulls for ceremonial purposes signifying the status and value of animals, Maynor assumes a modern and contemporary approach to this craft. Through her work, she honours the animal and resurrects it by giving it a second life. Maynor sources skulls from yard sales, hunters, butchers, farmers and taxidermists, often through barter. This practice of seeking out, salvaging and transforming unwanted bones and skulls brings renewed life to the lifeless and focus back to the otherwise discarded.
Maynor’s colorful and abstract designs are distinctly modern, but take inspiration from Cherokee and Navajo blankets, baskets, tribal pottery and nature. She is particularly fond of South Western and Pacific Northwest aboriginal designs. Maynor’s contemporary interpretation of a traditional practice is unique in its aesthetic and captivating in its appeal.