Kim Danio always knew she would be an artist, but didn’t realize she’d be combining her creativity with her love of collecting and passion for shoes.
“Ever since I was little my mom used to take me to this recycle center,” said Danio. “I would collect all kinds of junk and as my sister put it, ‘I hated you because I would come home with a bunch of junk, and you would come home and turn it into something.’ It was something I had done since I was very little, I save and collect, knowing at some point that I would find a use for it.”
She also had a passion for shoes at this age; she loved shoes so much that when she got a new pair she’d even wear them to bed.
Danio didn’t always sell art made of shoes. She was selling illustrated cards in the Art Gallery Nova Scotia shop until the manager at the time, Shawn Miner, visited her home and saw what she’d been making with the shoes scattered around her house. Miner suggested Danio should do a show.
Her break came in 2014 – one year after making her first shoe-art. Argyle Fine Art, was hosting an open call for artists to create pieces for a group show Canadiana, where artists worked together to display pieces that fit the specific theme. Danio brought a lobster made out of a shoe. From there, her relationship with Argyle Fine Art blossomed; Argyle Fine Art is now Danio’s main source of sales.
“Essentially, I find artists often stumble upon the direction they go in, but when I started making the shoes, I totally knew I found my thing,” said Danio. “It was the culmination of all of the things that I loved. So it made sense. Now I’ve created 250 different things, let alone multiples of certain things out of shoes.”
Loving the Nocturne experience
This is Danio’s third Nocturne with Argyle Fine Art. This year’s Art at Night event at Argyle Fine Art will feature six artists focusing on the central theme: nature vs. humans, and the interactions we have with creepy crawlies.
Danio is in the works of creating butterflies, snails, grasshoppers, and other “creepy crawlies” for the show on Oct. 14 with her creative use of shoes, clothing, metal, and other materials to bring the bugs to life.
It’s Danio’s first time creating bugs out of shoes and so far, she says its been an experience she loves. Especially since it’s for an art show she loves.
“To take part in a city-wide art show where – I mean when I was at Nocturne,” she recalls when she was the featured artist at Nocturne and had her art as the centre of attention for the show, “the number of people who came through the doors of Argyle Fine Art. I had never experienced anything like that.”
“I had always heard that for artists to be able to see the public – because usually your art is somewhere being sold and you’re at home in your studio – but to actually be present to something where you have the ability to interact with all these people who you don’t know and you’re seeing their reaction to your work it’s hard to describe as an artist.”
In 2015, Danio was the featured artist at Argyle Fine Art for Nocturne. She made a replica of the city of Halifax out of shoes and lights. At Nocturne 2016, she made The Trailer Park Boys as part of a group show.
Check out Kim Danio’s shoe art at Nocturne on Oct. 14.