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Hambor’s inspired images capture light, life and hope

By Staff | Jul 16, 2009

“Seeing the light” seems to be 2 Islands Gallery photographer Kim Hambor’s mantra – whether she’s capturing divinely-inspired clouds drifting high above a statue of Christ with arms stretched to the heavens or simply playing with infrared techniques on a cluster of palm trees – the light in Hambor’s life is her strongest guide and inspiration.

Born and raised in Ohio, Hambor moved to Naples in 1988 where she worked as a graphic artist at Prestige Printing.

Prior to her move, Hambor worked as a studio photographer, sculptor and designer, where – among other things – she created a line of inspirational shadow boxes based on her own photography.

From sculpture to painting, photography to graphic design, Hambor is a multi-talented artist, having specialized in both commercial and fine art.

“I’ve always done art. I’ve never thought I could do anything else. Art is always what I’ve wanted to do,” Hambor said.

Hambor’s iconic infrared and digital images capture various aspects of the Southwest Florida lifestyle and landscape – one of her favorite subjects being palm trees – and she says as a young, budding photographer, her biggest inspiration came from revolutionary photographers such as Diane Arbus.

“Her stuff was so funky,” she noted. “I just loved it.”

Hambor even had the opportunity in 1988 to attend a photographic workshop in Utah where, while under the tutelage of Lewis Kemper and Jeff Nixon – the latter once worked with renowned photographer Ansel Adams – she was inspired to focus more on fine art photography.

But Hambor said that, in addition to iconic photographers, Captivan Robert Rauschenberg was always a huge source of inspiration for her.

“I personally love his art, but I was always more inspired by what he accomplished,” Hambor said.

Asian aesthetics and philosophies, Hambor explained, are also among some of her favorite design elements and areas of study.

Hambor’s wide range of interests, styles, influences and capabilities have all led her to be, in many ways, a groundbreaking photographer – especially on the local level.

“I was the first photographer ever to be allowed into the Naples Art in the Park shows,” she said, noting that her work has also been featured in national ad campaigns, on billboards, in coffeetable books and magazines.

But aside from being an accomplished artist and photographer for most of her life – her first major acknowledgement came when Hambor was just 7-years-old and her sculpture was selected for exhibition at the Akron Art Institute – Hambor says one of the best and most enlightening experiences of her life occurred when she found Jesus.

“It changed my whole life,” Hambor said.

Hambor and her husband David have been married 14 years have two sons, Jacob, 13, and Luke, 11 – in addition to six chickens and a feisty Bengal cat the family calls Qigong, a name inspired by Hambor’s affinity for learning about and practicing the ancient Chinese breathing and meditational art of Qigong.

She also has a passion for collecting interesting rocks and gems and has quite the knack for dreaming up new ideas and inventions, which she attributes to the lineage of her maiden name.

“I always tell people I was related to Alexander Graham Bell, because I invent stuff all the time. My name used to be Bell and my great-grandpa was from the same town in Scotland as Bell and I figure, I have to be related somehow!” Hambor said with a laugh.

To see more of Hambor’s inspirationally inventive work, go to www.KimHambor.com, or visit 2 Islands Gallery in Chadwick Square at South Seas Island Resort, open to the public every day from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information about the gallery, call 472-5111 ext. 7633.