Visual Arts faculty Kim Blodgett was a runner in high school. She committed to the sport partly because she thought it could help her go to college—being on the athlete's list allowed for scholarships that could make higher education affordable for her. On the academics front, the daily 45-minute bus to school and hours of chores at home gave her very little time to cultivate an outstanding transcript: instead of doing homework, she often had to stack wood, do the laundry, help with dinner, feed the pigs, tend the potato patch…the list goes on. If the dishes were not done, her father would not let her go to school. Eventually, Blodgett grew to realize that the only way to stand out was athletics: “It was a leveraging to move from my station of life and what was handed to me—my family couldn’t afford college and didn’t care for such things, so I wanted to leverage running as a means to gain access.” Blodgett trained diligently and received many recruitment letters from universities.

She even noted that athletics and art have the same spirit: “You have to be conscious, you have to be honest,” she said. “Sports don’t have room for dishonesty; and in art, if you’re dishonest, you chase your tail—you’ll make the same art over and over again.” On her first day of drawing class in college, her professor highlighted a further connection between the two disciplines: art is a physical process. He let the students draw a chair with a three-foot dowel with charcoal at the end of it, and Kim realized, “All of a sudden you couldn’t draw small. It forced you to get back and see the whole piece of paper. You start thinking differently and you can’t do little fine details. You have to start with using your whole body […] You understand it more as a physical act, and you understand it building from the big to the small, instead of from the small to the big.”

A native Vermonter, Blogett loves the mountains and rivers in her home state. “It's the land that is home to me. Sitting by the river helps me think — always think if I could only move through the world like water.” Blodgett grew up with four siblings—three sisters and a brother, who was the youngest of the five. Her parents wanted boys and, ultimately, raised Blodgett and her sisters as if they were boys. Throughout her childhood, Blodgett did not feel like she was any different from the boys. She hung out and ran and did sports with them, and felt that a person had a choice in which gender to be.

As she grew older, however, Blodgett started to feel the differences between herself and the boys set in. Later in high school, she hit puberty, and all the college communication for athletics stopped. She became, in her own words, “pissed for being a woman!” For her, gender felt like something the outside world imposed on her: “I didn’t feel like a girl as much as everybody treated me like a girl. Gender wasn’t something I thought that much about, other than [wondering about] ‘why are we different?’ ‘Why would someone treat people differently for this?’ […] I feel like gender happened to me, at me,” Blodgett explained.

In contrast, Blodgett has always felt closer to her Native American heritage. She spent her childhood learning about the Abenaki from her Gram (grandmother), who lived next door. She feels like her Native American identity has always been a part of her, tracing back to childhood and the familiarity of home.

The intersection between her identity as a woman and a Native American is also something Blodgett explores in her art. For example, she conducted an interview project where she asked herself questions while dressed in different outfits to give context to various queries and the answers. In one of the inquiries, she wore a mustache and held a beer to ask “Do you feel like the Other?” meaning if she felt like the Other as a Native American. She answered wearing underwear and stockings. “I wanted to answer as a woman saying that, as a woman, you’re always sort of in this other realm.” Blodgett also pondered questions like what it means if everyone else sees her as a woman. To examine these inquiries, she often changed her appearance by dyeing her hair different colors or changing how she dressed. During these dialogues with herself, Blodgett started to embrace her female gender. She always liked asking the question “Who am I?”—it made her feel alive and awake.