Meet the Artist: Kimberly Chapman

Kimberly Chapman 1
When tragedy and beauty collide.

By Kelli Comer

Local sculptor Kimberly Chapman is an expert at finding the beauty in dark, painful topics, bringing the subject matter to light in a uniquely striking way. Her work tells a painfully vivid tale about the historical mistreatment of humanity and what is left behind after terrible things happen.

“I don’t choose to make the sculptures. There are no preliminary drawings,” Kimberly explains. “Quite simply, they make themselves.”

Through her feminine lens, she sheds an essential light on dark topics. She has a fascination with the creamy, white translucent porcelain that kings and emperors demanded for their personal dinnerware. She takes this inspiration to create her sculptures from clay. Due to the natural beauty of the clay’s whiteness, color is often excluded. In some instances, touches of shiny clear glaze or gold luster are used sparingly. Surfaces are stretched, cracked, and purposefully misshaped for an otherworldly look. Other surfaces mimic thick, indulgently smooth cake frosting topped off with touches of molten gold.

“My goal is to create psychologically challenging works that force the viewer to contemplate injustice,” says Kimberly. “Topics include mental asylums, silencing women, school shootings, the worldwide refugee crisis and domestic violence.”

Becoming an artist is Kimberly’s second career, after spending over three decades in the marketing industry. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2017 from the Cleveland Institute of Art. She is now living her greatest passion of being a porcelain sculptor full-time.

Kimberly brings her art to life by employing a combination of hand building with press molds. She also shreds bedsheets, dips them in porcelain and partially covers objects with it. The clay body she uses is like white marble, yet translucent, giving it an ethereal effect and paying homage to the affinity she’s had for porcelain since she collected figurines as a little girl. Most objects are fired twice, except for those with touches of luster, which require a third firing.

Kimberly Chapman

“My work centers on what women have endured through the ages and continue to endure. I focus on a topic and the inspiration comes from deep research,” notes Kimberly. “Once I learn the stories behind the women, I’m off and running. It’s an honor to share the hardships they experienced. It is important for people to remember and learn the history.”

To reach Kimberly, you can email her at To learn more about the artist’s work and to see her exhibiting schedule, visit You can follow along with her on Instagram @kimberlychapmansculptor.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment