For Kimber Fiebiger, being an artist isn't just about what she does for a living. The Joan of Art gallery owner lives in a home of her own design, she eats at tables she has created, and works in a studio where she laid floors herself. "It's a lifestyle choice," she says.
Joan of Art cheerily sits at 3020 East Franklin Avenue. It's exterior has a bright metallic mosaic displayed in front, whimsical windows of different sizes, and sections painted burgundy, mustard yellow, teal, and cornflower blue. Fiebiger's bronze Humpty Dumpty sculptures welcome visitors at the entrance, and an acrobatic jester poses for the wandering passerby.
Fiebiger's colorful and asymmetrical sense of style can be seen inside as well, not just in the gallery, but on the upper floor of the building where she lives, which was just an attic when she got the place 13 years ago. She says the building once housed an inventor whose claim to fame was creating a voting machine.
Fiebiger still considers the building a work in progress. "I've been working on it continuously," she says. She doesn't necessarily have a plan for how it would turn out. "I think I kind of wing it," she says. "I want to make sure that I'm having fun."
It's not the first time she's done a project like this. Before opening Joan of Art, she had a café in Wiconsin that she transformed, but it was too far of a drive, and the gallery/home fit her needs better.
At first, the gallery hosted numerous events. This has tapered down in the past few years. However, Fiebiger says she's planning a large event this fall, probably sometime in October.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Fiebiger's style varies from abstract to whimsical to classical to "whatever hit my fancy," she says. "I have multiple personalities." After school, she taught herself how to weld and learned other techniques. In her home, she does all the iron casting herself. During the summer months, Fiebeger is busy going to art fairs all around the country (including the Uptown Art Fair here in Minneapolis), and also has regular clients. During the recession, business was pretty slow, but things are picking up again, and now the artist is finding new directions as she plays with found objects in her work.
For news about what's new at the gallery, and updates about events, check out the website
and also Joan of Art's Facebook page