Kate Wilhite (she/they) is a watercolor artist exploring queer identity through light and color. They work with themes of ambiguity, duality, and personal realities. Kate’s most recent project was a 78-painting tarot series featuring locals from the Salt Lake City queer community, and is now focusing on a series about radical authenticity and intimacy. Kate is exploring a new medium this year as a tattoo apprentice and is excited to further their journey of radical self-expression through art making.
My work centers around queer identity and radical authenticity. I use color and light to explore spaces between binaries. My paintings seek to examine questions such as where does the boundary lie between enjoyment and indulgence? When can self-medication become self-harm? Does reality exist? How can one find stability in a world of constant change and impermanence? At what point does self-expression become a charade? I use co-existing opposites, contrasting colors and values, and a combination of organic shapes and patterns to explore these questions.
My goal is to relay universal themes — isolation, self-medication, constructed identities, etc. — through specific snapshots of a particular subculture. I live and work in Salt Lake City, Utah, and my community is a vital part of my work. The queer artist subculture is so unique here. Because the state is religiously oppressive, queer and trans people tend to collect in the city, creating a queer bubble where we can live authentically and safely. I paint people in my community who live between binaries as a way to explore my own identity and to show the world how beautiful queer radical authenticity is.
About the art:
“The World” is part of the Queer Revolution Tarot. This is a deck of tarot cards that all people—cis, trans, gay, straight, agender, asexual, etc. can use to meditate on queerness within their own identities.
The World card represents completion, accomplishment, integration, and fulfillment. You have completed a journey and reached a goal that you have long been working for. Look back on your achievements, mistakes, struggles, and lessons learned with pride. All of those experiences brought you here to where you are now. As this journey draws to completion, reflect on your wisdom gained, and look forward to your next journey with fresh eyes and enthusiasm.
Queer Revolution Tarot takes a gender-expansive view on masculinity and femininity that allows viewers to break down gendered terms into attributes present in all people.
Where to Find Kate’s Art:
Purchase art through their Instagram @kate.wilhite or katewilhite.com