in New Orleans, La. on December 23, 1954. While his father was in the Marine
Corps, he had the opportunity to see much of the country growing up. Traveling
from one coast to the other being stationed on or near various military
bases made life very interesting. His mother, also a very talented artist
in her own right, came from a family of artists, but never had the chance
to do much with it in the commercial sense. Although she did teach some,
about ceramics and painting, she encouraged her son to develop his own artwork
through the images his mother sculpted, painted and drew. It was an inspiring
environment to be raised in.
. . . . . .
At the age
of 6, while admiring a large piece of agate while lying on the floor on
his back, the rock slipped out of his hands and struck him in the head.
Don't know what that was about but it was a love hate relationship with
rocks ever since. Always fond of how beautiful rocks could be, from his
grandparent's rock garden when they lived on the north Umpqau River in Oregon
in the early 1960s, there was an endless supply of beauty there, agates
and thunder eggs. They even built walls and fireplaces out of the agate
lying around. It was everywhere. He also realized at the age of 7, that
there was some sense of artistic ability to draw, but it didn't come to
fruition until he was about 12 and then it became apparent in such a way
it was dumbfounding to him. So, off to private drawing lessons and again
being encouraged by his mother to appreciate his new found talent, she took
him to local art shows to see how others painted. While his father was in
Okinawa, Japan the family was stationed just outside Camp Pendleton in Fallbrook,
Ca. There was a gentleman that lived across the street from him that had
a very large gemstone collection and he would throw out his smaller crystals
by the side of the road the kids in the neighborhood called the rock pile.
It was like discovering gold to a young rockhound."
. . . . . .
father returned from Vietnam War in the early 1970's, they moved to Camp
Lejeune, North Carolina. There his artwork in painting, drawing and jewelry
came to life. During the first week at Lejeune high school, he had shown
his art teacher Doug Parker some of the pieces he had painted and the very
next day he had to break the news to him that someone broke into his office
and stole his paintings. How sad, but how thrilling that someone thought
so well of his art that they would steal it. The paintings sort of mysteriously
reappeared a week later because a threat of expulsion was sent out to the
students they thought were responsible. Doug Parker was and still is an
extraordinary teacher, he saw the potential in his students talent and did
what he could to draw that out of them. He had such a profound influence
on him at that time, it was the one person he respected there as a teacher
more than anyone. Many students that sat under Parker have felt the same
sentiment as well. Some 30 years after leaving the area, Kerry was able
to track down Doug Parker via the Internet and express his gratitude for
the influence he had on his life at that time. Parker was able to allow
the students to do independent studies in whatever medium they chose and
sought to encourage his students to try new things. Jewelry fabrication
and lapidary work was what interested Kerry. Gold back then, he said, was
$32 per ounce. It was his first experience working in gold, silver and working
with stone cutting and lapidary equipment. It's what caused him to dream
about being a Graduate Gemologist and studying about gemstones. He kept
that dream alive for 25 years when he attended the GIA campus in Carlsbad,
Ca. through their home study courses and week long workshops to complete
his training to graduate a few years ago. The independent study didn't stop
there in Parker's art classes, it's what fueled Kerry to study other types
of artwork and become self taught in many other forms of art. Painting,
jade carving, drawing, photography and jewelry fabrication and stone setting.
He studied under various masters like Kent Riable, Jean Stark, Cecelia Bauer,
Bessie Jamison, Joanne Seeto, and Alan Revere, learning gold granulation,
enameling techniques, various lapidary skills.
. . . . . .
recently translating his inlay jewelry pieces into doing larger inlay pieces
on wood boxes. Using a multitude of material, some very exotic, from fossil
ivories to meteorites, he specializes in the use of pearlescent shell, exotic
wood, composite stone, semi precious and precious stone, and metal inlays.
The inlays are engraved and inked with linework, an unusual form of artwork
not seen other than with working luthiers who inlay guitars, of which Larry
Robinson in some ways has been a mentor of his. Larry has inlayed some of
the most expensive guitars in the world. Larry's book on inlay work lit
a fire under Kerry to see his own potential and push forward with new techniques
using new materials and imagery.
. . . . . .
inlay piece Kerry did, with three Celtic dogs on it, was given to his mother
a few years back. It was recently swept away during the Katrina Hurricane.
His parents had retired and lived in Slidell, La. at the time and to his
mother's dismay, the house though still standing had a six-foot tidal surge
clean the house out of its belongings including the inlay with the three
Celtic dogs on it. His mother found the piece in 2 inches of mud and was
able to salvage it, but much of their belongings were destroyed or just
missing, some of her own artwork included and his that she has collected
over the years. One can only imagine how many pieces of artwork from other
artists were taken and made state artifacts along the Gulf coast by these
devastating hurricanes. His parents were one of the lucky ones to at least
still have a home standing. They have since left the area moving north away
from the coast.
years always feeling drawn to Native American culture, intrigued by the
artwork that enveloped the Southwest, the jewelry pieces are what fascinated
him the most, but there was something deeper that tormented him, but he
couldn't put his finger on it. Until one day, his father told him something
that nearly made him fall out of his chair. His father, while on a recent
trip to California, told Kerry he was the seventh generation grandson of
a Choctaw chief, Pushmataha. No one ever talked about it in the family but
the lineage was there on paper, yet they knew about it. Some of those deep
puzzling unknowns were making complete sense to him now, Finally some answers.
He understood the draw to Native culture now."
You can reach Kerry at: BOOSHMAN23@aol.com.