Member Profile: Paula A. Winchester

Member Profile: Paula A. Winchester

During the nationwide lockdown, Kansas native Paula A. Winchester has had her fun indoors through various online programs created by Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Winchester is thankful for these “keeping people calm” activities, so thankful that she decided to become a member of Kemper Museum.

Winchester has been a member of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art since 1973, and has been to Kemper Museum for a number of activities including meditations, artist talks, and future collectors events. After signing up for Kemper’s e-newsletter, the Museum became an important experience resource for her during the pandemic.

“Not even being a member with you guys, it was an overflow,” Winchester said. “The creativity of the staff that came up with these ideas, the creativity of the administration to do whatever they can to keep people happy. You didn’t disappear, you came much more forward for me.”

Only going out every three weeks for groceries, Winchester has loved the Mystery Art Challenge program, which is sent through the mail and provides her a fun activity where she can create original artwork with provided materials. She also has spent her time walking around the grounds of the Nelson-Atkins with her miniature dachshund, creating wrist warmers and silk scarves, and painting with pastels.

“Sometimes it takes me a while to finish something that is rather daunting,” Winchester said. “I don’t really have a painting brain; it’s not clear in my mind how I should go about anything.”

Winchester has enjoyed viewing the behind-the-scenes images of Elais Sime’s upcoming exhibition, Tightrope, on social media and learning about the artist’s unique technique creating art. The exhibition will open virtually in August, if the Museum is still unable to open its physical space.

“It is definitely easier to look at someone else’s art,” Winchester said. “How does somebody get these ideas to come out of them? All these people have different ways of expressing something.”

At her little house in Brookside, Winchester has art all around her. She believes that art is everywhere you look no matter where you are. 

“I often get caught up in looking at shadows from my plants and the way the leaves are eaten by the Japanese beetles.” Winchester said. “It’s never just the human art, I am very caught up in the colors of plants, flowers, and leaves... art is everywhere.” 

––article and photo thanks to Audrey Kesler, 2020 Kemper Museum Intern

Kemper Museum Members help keep the Museum free for all visitors, underwriting the expense of special exhibitions and programs and inspiring many thousands with contemporary art each year.

Click here to learn more about becoming a Kemper Museum Member!