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Kim Alsbrooks

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Name  Kim Alsbrooks

Kim Alsbrooks Historical Fine Oil Portraits on Crumpled Trash by Kim Alsbrooks

Kim alsbrooks art phag

Kim Alsbrooks is a Philadelphia-based artist. She was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1961, and lived briefly in Philadelphia during the 1990s. After living in Arizona for 10 years, and in Charleston, South Carolina, she returned to Philadelphia in 2007. She has had a number of solo exhibitions, and has recently received considerable attention for her White Trash Family series which includes over 600 miniatures, painted on discarded trash. She is one of the winners of the West Prize.


Kim Alsbrooks Kim Alsbrooks Philadelphia PA Artist Painters Artistadaycom


  • 1996: Apprenticeship, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1988 – 1989: University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale, IL: Graduate studies in printmaking
  • 1986: University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ: BFA
  • 1981 – 1983: College of Charleston, Charleston, SC: Fine Arts
  • Career

    Kim is currently self-employed, primarily contracted by the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia, as an artist. In Charleston, she worked in historic restoration; she is currently the owner of Luxe Painting & Historic Restoration in Philadelphia.

    White Trash Series

    Alsbrook's White Trash series challenges perceptions of the history of the civil war and associated class distinctions by creating miniature portraits of 18th century historical figures in graphite and oils on a base of discarded pieces of trash. Her work was sparked in part by an interest in the tradition of miniature paintings on ivory, and also by the comments of a women's history professor friend on historical biases in art. She began developing the series in 2004 while living in Charleston, South Carolina.

    Alsbrooks creates miniature portraits by creating an oval shape that is gessoed onto the trash. Then she draws the image on the gesso in graphite and paints it in oils before varnishing it. She says of the process of finding materials: "The trash is found flat, on the street. One cannot flatten the trash. It just doesn't work. It must be found so that there are no wrinkles in the middle and the graphic should be well centered. Then the portraits are found that are complimentary to the particular trash." One of her favorite times to pick up trash is after the yearly Philadelphia Mummers Parade.


  • 2015 The Bigger Picture with Mary Dewitt, Jim Doherty, and Elise Dodeles, Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, Princeton
  • 2014 Last Memories: The End of My White Trash Paintings, Snyderman-Works Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2013 Portraying Kinship: Work by Kim Alsbrooks and Helen Mirkil, Painted Bride At Center, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2012 Recovered Delights: The Inventive World of Found Object Sculpture, group exhibition, Snyderman-Works Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2010 White Trash, Bambi Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2010 About Face, with Tilo Uischer (Germany) and Elisabeth Belliveau (Canada) at Two Window Project, Berlin, Germany
  • 2008 Kim Alsbrooks, with Patrick Farell, Third Boat Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2005 Splendour and Elegance, Lime Blue, Charleston, SC
  • Fairmount Park Map

    In 2014 Kim published a small artisan map of Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, reflecting her own years of exploring the park on foot and by bicycle.


  • West Prize, 2012
  • References

    Kim Alsbrooks Wikipedia