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Graffiti Inspires River Edge Artist's BergenPAC Exhibit

River Edge artist Kim Schmitt Thomas with her 3-year-old twins and husband.
River Edge artist Kim Schmitt Thomas with her 3-year-old twins and husband. Photo Credit: Submit

RIVER EDGE, N.J. — You won't find River Edge artist Kim Schmitt Thomas spray-painting the side of a building anytime soon.

But, she said, that's exactly what inspired her painting collection "Truth or Dare," on display in Englewood's bergenPAC through the end of August.

"I love the energy and the movement of graffiti," said Thomas, also a local softball coach. "It looks like it’s screaming out to be heard.”

Thomas works from her home studio, which she shares with her 3-year-old twins’ kitchen set.

Each painting has its own story.

“I feel the chaos mirrors life itself, and adds to the emotion and passion of the story the painting is trying to tell," the artist said.

She points to a painting on a far wall in her home entitled “Tossed Salad.”

It details subtle, sexual images intertwined with salad ingredients.

“This one” she says, “is very popular.”

Thomas’ love for art harkens back to her training as a dancer and spending time with her mother, Lee Meredith, the actress portrayed in the Al Hirschfeld caricature drawing with George Burns and Walter Matthau, "The Sunshine Boys."

The artist carries on a competition with herself, always looking to improve her work.

And whether or not people understand it, Thomas says her intention is to create good, honest, art.

“When I am at the end of my life, I will probably never regret what I did," she said. "But I will deeply regret what I didn’t do.”

An open reception for Thomas' series is scheduled for Aug. 18, from 6-8 p.m. at bergenPAC.

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