Firnstahl wins National Gallery contest in London
August 28, 2008 · Updated 10:41 AM
LONDON An Arlington artist, KD Vandergon Firnstahl, a.k.a Kathy Firnstahl, won an international contest with the National Gallery of London for a poem she wrote.
She is one of three international winners in the contest that she entered on the fly while visiting an exhibit about Rembrandt in honor of his 400th birthday in the gallery last fall.
She wrote it while sitting there and entered it on the spot.
Her prize is a large book about the exhibit containing 256 pages with photographs and essays on Rembrandts work in the London gallerys collection.
Its a highly technical book, Firnstahl said.
She responded to the essay contest in a unique, hip-hop style poem, Rembrandt Rhyme in Hip Hop Tyme Say it. (See the poem above, right.)
Firnstahl has long been a fan of Rembrandt. Even as a child, she remembers reading everything she could get her hands on about the Dutch Renaissance painter.
Rembrandt used brushstrokes to paint he certainly didnt splash on paint like Jackson Pollack, Firnstahl said as she explained the first line of her poem.
I used the hip hop, rap-like rhythm, because I was in the mood for this sing-song lingo, Firnstahl said.
She said she spelled the word time that way as a reference to old English and the Way Out and Give Way referred to the exit and yield signs that make all Americans chuckle when visiting England.
The letter from the gallery telling her that she was a winner said, Your [entry] stood out as something special.
Firnstahl shows her photography around Arlington in the Arlington Arts Councils Art Along the Way project. Her photographs are on display through February at Cascade Valley Senior Living and starting in March will be at PhysioCare at the Cascade Medical Center.
She is also showing a collection of her photographs at Photographic Center Northwest, 900 12th Ave. on Capitol Hill in Seattle until March with images ranging from mixed-media, infrared black-and-whites, to hand-painted photographs and scenes of Arlington and Washington state, from Mount Baker to the Puyallup Fair.
Firnstahl said she was first published in a book at age 13. Her mother and her daughter are also published authors.