Kerry's drawings of music have a basis in music notation stemming from her private synesthetic experience of music notation and color. Kerry's approach to music and visual art has been shaped by her unique academic background – She received a BA in Philosophy with minor in music performance in 1994 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. During that time, shedid archaeological illustrations of Mayan artifacts on site in Belize for the University of Texas-Austin and performed at the Aspen Music Festival for two seasons. Kerry then received an MA in Philosophy from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1998. Kerry's experiences with professional music performance and the study of analytic philosophy contribute significantly to her approach to time and place in her work.
Kerry Haith's long, colorful pastel paintings portray musical compositions. Due to a natural blending of her sense of sight and sound, often called synesthesia, she has the ability to experience music in color. For example, to me, the harmony D Major is a very specific yellow. This experience has been with Kerry since her youth, and she cannot change it, and D Major is always the same color regardless of the timbre, rhythm, dynamics, or other element of music occurring when the harmony is sounding - and beyond that, regardless of how I feel about what I am hearing.
For Kerry these paintings "reflect my unique experience of color and harmony by tracking the progress of a composition on a linear grid as it would be performed over time. The initial process of laying out a musical pattern not magic. To be explicit, the color of a section represents the particular harmony being voiced and the width represents the duration that harmony is held. "
Kerry's recent work represents her continuing effort to go beyond presenting the complex life of music in linear patterns toward exploring the ways those patterns point to the source of music in our other life experiences. "Music is time-bound. It is a synthetic experience. If you want to hear a song again, you must replay it or perform it again. Each time it is replayed, you are in a different place, time, or frame of mind, surrounded by new climates, contexts and personal company. "
For Kerry, "these paintings depict that lonesome and sympathetic creation story. They portray other worlds that are born out of the desire and insight which are present as music is synthesized, composed, or expressed. They are intended to be dense with meaning - musical, structural, temporal, catalytic - and ultimately, to condense music into a sense of place. Importantly, some of my paintings merge the colors of landscapes with the colored patterns representing the harmonies in each composition. Often, these landscapes include the filtered light in telescope images of deep space and satellite images of Earth."
Kerry was born in the Midwest. For the past eight years, her work has explored the translation of music to visual art. Her work has been presented in gallery exhibitions nationally and internationally – in Paris, Toronto, Chicago, Flagstaff, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. She has participated in institutional exhibitions, and her work is in the permanent collection of the Civic Art Gallery of Macerata, Italy. Kerry has collaborated with musicians, including the Missouri Symphony Society, and most recently with Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago for a curated program on the relationship between improvisational jazz and the visual arts. She is a recipient of an artist fellowship from the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska (2012), and was a member artist of ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation-Chicago for six years (2010-2016).
In addition to exhibitions, kerry actively participates in a local community of artists that do private, public, and corporate commissioned artwork. My work can be seen locally in the collections of The Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel –State of Missouri, the University of Missouri, Boone Hospital Tower, and Central Bank.