Kimberly McNeelan: Lifestyle Woodworking

Kimberly McNeelan: Lifestyle Woodworking

As a former contributing author for Woodworker’s Journal for almost a decade, I thought it would be fun to provide a quick update on what I’ve been up to for the past couple of years. I am still in the studio full time with my shop dog, Cedar, but my work and life look a little different these days. I am an ecologically-minded woodworker, public artist, educator and mother who uplifts, inspires and conveys harmony in pursuit of a healthy community.

Kim McNeelan art on display
“Striation,” a public art collaboration of McNeelan and “Project One” art fabricators, invokes feelings of hope and inspiration.

Currently I’m teaching sculpture and design at Butler University, and I teach woodworking at my studio and at the Indianapolis Art Center. My teaching goals include instilling lifelong art appreciation, passing on real skills that transcend mediums, getting others excited about making and experiencing art and helping my students discover they can have an impact on society through visual conversation. I’m also tutoring an intern from Butler, and that’s a great joy for me.

Kim McNeelan's little library project

I have been an educator for almost as long as I have been an artist, and I find that teaching informs my personal work because I am relating to the greater community. Public art is for the community, and you must know the people to be able to reach them. I still use my motto, “It’s not just woodworking. It’s a lifestyle.” Making functional art embodies the same intentions as the other aspects of having a rich and fulfilling life.

Kim McNeelan and her son Arthur

Speaking of life, I’m now a mom to a hilarious, clever and handsome 1-1/2-year-old boy named Arthur. Currently the drill is his favorite tool, but I’m sure that will change as quickly as his shoe size does. Arthur’s father and I have just bought a house with a lovely yard that will hopefully accommodate my new awesome woodshop very soon!

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