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Kathryn Kalisz Tribute

'Kitty' LA May 09

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The headlines read “Elderly women dead in Hernando Florida shooting”

One of the women referred to in that article was my dear friend and mentor Kathryn Kalisz-Donovan. Those of us, who knew her well, know that she would have scoffed at being referred to as elderly; in fact she avoided the subject of her age entirely because, as she made clear to her best friend Kim Wagner, she planned to live to be 150. Kathryn was a powerful woman, such so that her daughter Louanna said yesterday in a tearful conversation “…I know it doesn’t make much sense, but I never thought Mother could be killed or die for that matter.” She was such an indomitable spirit.

To her students she was passionate and compelling. To her fellow color experts and image professionals, she was a leading authority on the subject of color and fierce in her to determination to maintain the integrity of the system of Personal Color Analysis. To those of us who loved her she was all those things and just “Kitty”, a gentle woman who walked to the beat of her own drum. Kitty was artsy, bohemian, an individualist, a mother first and foremost, an entrepreneur, a teacher, a writer, a mentor, a dreamer, an optimist, and a really good friend.

Power is defined as the ability to do something or act, powerful as having the ability to influence the behavior of others or the course of events. Kitty was a powerful woman who took action in pursuit of her dreams, who never let anything and anyone get in her way, and who had a great capacity to inspire others with her great passion for color. By the time she launched her book “Understanding Your Color, A Guide to Personal Color Analysis and her business, SciART she had been a struggling artist, an art instructor, a Personal Color Analyst, and a Munsell colorist where she solidified her already vast color education. She was a single mother, and largely the sole supporter of her three daughters, Manessa, Suzie and Louanna, who she credited for helping her write her book.

Kitty launched SciART, her company dedicated to the study of color, its use, and its affects on the human being in 2000. She achieved international acclaim and was included in the “Who’s Who of American Women,” 2000-2001, Millennium Edition for her innovation work in the field of color. Kitty was a leading authority on color and she used her artistic expertise, the knowledge she gained as a colorist, and her exceptional ability to communicate and demonstrate this knowledge to make her workshops a life-changing experience for her students.

In 2002, having made the decision to redefine myself through a new career, I found SciART. I had been color analyzed 30 years before, when I worked in sales on Wall Street. Loving clothes and all things related to fashion as I do, I had come to appreciate how important a role wearing flattering colors played in creating a visually pleasing impression. So having decided to become a Personal Color Analyst and having thoroughly researched color education and Personal Color Analysis Training, I signed up for Kitty’s workshop. I was impressed by SciART’s driving philosophy that color is art but its accuracy is a science. It became abundantly clear to me that this was the company with which I wanted to affiliate. I went from being the only student that first day to participating in countless workshops with numerous participants, over the course of the next several years

I witnessed the powerful effect that Kitty had on her students with her depth of knowledge and her passion for color. We all came to learn how to do Personal Color Analysis and left seeing color holistically with an appreciation for the role that color plays on the human being. We learned that color is light and an integral life sustaining force with well-established healing properties.

If power is the ability to act and being powerful is having the ability to influence others then Kitty was a living example. Thanks to Kitty, I am now privileged to be a certified instructor along with other talented image professionals from Los Angeles to Australia and Hong Kong. We enjoy thriving businesses, and like Kitty, we help our clients and students see the world that surrounds us through her eyes. In essence, the world for her was color and it was beautiful.

Kitty was a free spirit who tragically suffered a brutal death. She devoted her professional life to building SciART, her beloved business. She left a footprint in the field of color where she will be sorely missed.

Kitty used to talk about this dream place near running water, where she could paint naked all day in the woods. Those of us who knew and loved her are heartbroken. I find some solace in the belief that she is now at piece in her little corner of heaven and find comfort in these words from Kahlil Gibran.

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind

and to melt into the sun?

And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides,

that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

…. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance. – Excerpted from The Prophet –

Written by Mayte Garza

Reveal Style Consultancy

Morristown, New Jersey

See the origional site for this entry below

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