My name is Kim Wagner Nolan. I prefer to be called Kim but I answer to all three names or any combination of Kim, Wagner, and Nolan. I was born and raised in New York.
That's a picture of me there on the left, installing one of my Butterfly sculptures at the Bronx Zoo. From the time I was in pre-school I've wanted to be an artist. In fact, I still have my report card where my teacher wrote, "Kimmie is the class Artist." When I was in grade school I turned my bedroom into a museum. I didn't even know what an exhibition designer was or even that such a thing existed but I was destined to be one. I hung my paintings on the walls and displayed my sculptures complete with interpretive signage. I also painted murals on the walls, the ceiling, and inadvertently on the carpet. I devised these Rube Goldberg-style contraptions to open windows and doors. Admission was free.
In 2000 I graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration. I unknowingly graduated a semester early. I was 21 years old and had no plan so I stayed in Rhode Island and began working as an Exhibit Developer at the Providence Children's Museum. It was there that I was able to combine my passion for both art and science and discovered a love for creating engaging interactive exhibits.
I've had a successful career as an Exhibit Designer and have worked for many notable institutions including the Providence Children’s Museum, Long Island Children’s Museum, New York Hall of Science, African American Museum, and the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium in addition to working on many other museum projects and exhibiting my own art all over the country. I've also been a guest lecturer on kinetic sculpture at Nassau Community College and the Fashion Institute of Technology's Graduate Program in Exhibition Design.
I started writing this blog in 2008 as a way to share my love for museums with other museum lovers. A few months later I was hired as a surveyor for an international branding, engineering and wayfinding firm. I was sent all over North America including Mexico and Canada, sometimes visiting three or four cities a week. When I wasn't working, I used my free time to visit museums and then wrote about them and all of my travel misadventures and shenanigans while sitting in various airports. In 2010 I got married to an Irishman named Darren; I was simultaneously promoted to Project Manager and my employer sent me to New Zealand for a couple of months. Once I was back in New York for a while, I started to get itchy feet again. Since I was always traveling for work, Darren and I never had the chance to go on a honeymoon and there were so many places we wanted to see. Somehow we decided to go to all the places around the world that we wanted to go to instead of picking just one. Neither of us is still sure how it all happened. We quit our jobs, sold our things, gave up our apartment, said goodbye to our friends and the next thing we knew we were on a plane bound for Kiev. We've been traveling since September of 2011 and I've been writing about our adventures the whole way.
I still try to be the "class artist" and do something creative every day whether it be writing, drawing, painting, photography, or sculpture. I don't believe an artist should have to stick with one medium or one style. It all depends on what location I’m in and the culture and surroundings that inspire me.
My work has been displayed in art galleries throughout the United States and is also for sale online so I can make a living no matter where I am in the world and keep my blog free for my readers : )
Thanks for reading!
*Please visit my website kimwagnerdesigns.com if you'd like to view my work or you can also click the My Website or Shop tab at the top of your screen