Dominique Paulus, Retail Associate & Artist-in-Residence
Dominique, one of the longest standing Kibler & Kirch employees, lives immersed in nature on a daily basis. She does surveys and wildlife counts for Cornell, Audubon, and the US Forest Service as she searches for inspirations for her work. For us, she specializes in furniture repair, faux painting, and making things more perfect.
When Dominique heard that her painting was selected to be shown at the prestigious Birds in Art exhibit at the Woodson Art Museum, she knew it was equivalent to winning a gold medal for wildlife artists. Her piece, “Communications,” will be on view in the Wausau, WI museum alongside other masterworks of bird art before joining an international exhibition.
“Communications” was sparked by a trip to the Post Office, though. As she walked the alley behind our store, she saw the myriad of telephone poles, satellite dishes, cables, and TV antennas that become nesting points for ravens, who adapt to changes in technology and environment as easily as humans. Over one year later, she completed her work that, she says, expresses the communication between and amongst nature–even in town. Way to go, Dom!
How did you join the Kibler & Kirch design family?
My husband and I moved from Northern New Hampshire to Red Lodge after years of coming to the area on backpacking trips. Being a wildlife artist, Montana is heaven … but we arrived without jobs. I was a former art teacher and librarian but could not find work in those fields, so I did sheet rocking. An artist friend told me about an opening at K&K, where I began as a retail person. My job description continuously grew, as I added ore artistic tasks to my list. After 17 years, my presence on the floor is much less, doing shipping/receiving, painting, faux painting, refinishing and repairing, etc. Having an art degree has always been an asset in design and color, and art history in combining styles and periods.
If you were a piece of furniture what would you be?
I would be a painting easel, always have a part of creating, always changing with splatter and drips layering the history of my interactions in nature’s ways.
What do you own that you would never get rid of?
My 97′ Toyota 4-runner. It has a manual tansmission, 4-wheel drive, crank windows, four cylinders. It’s the perfect vehicle to haul art supplies and artwork, and to camp in.
What is your favorite design style?
Contemporary rustic with its clean lines, uncluttered in natural warm materials.