Kiyomi Baird: A Way of Seeing
Kiyomi Baird’s art is both evanescent and transcendently beautiful, qualities not found so easily in today’s art. As a Japanese-American painter, Baird holds on to her Asian origins, and produces art of unusual grace and quiet eloquence. Educated at Berkeley, the artist retains some of the openness and exploratory nature of Western culture, but as she found out after an extended stay in Tokyo, her deepest allegiance is with Japanese art. For the Western viewer, it also becomes clear quickly that much of her inspiration comes from a Buddhist recognition of the transience of life. The combination of spiritual awareness and exquisite imagery results in an art that lingers in the thought of the viewer, who may be startled by the extent to which the mixture succeeds.
An art as devotedly spiritual as Baird’s maintains a dignity and wealth of purpose that lifts communication between the artist and her audience. As part of her visionary outlook, Baird refers to imagery of the sky—or, we might say, of the heavens. Baird’s emphasis on internal insight is also clearly evidenced in several of her paintings. Through her works, Baird shows us, in subtle and profound ways, how we can reach within ourselves and find out who we truly are. This is a genuine achievement.
-- Jonathan Goodman