With a flick of her stubby paintbrush, artist Kim Parr Roenigk blocks in the flamboyant gesture of a Flamenco dancer. Another day, her sure hand outlines Matisse-like pineapples. These are some of the images springing to life on a dozen large canvases at her Ellicott City studio. Once completed, the murals will be rolled up and delivered to the boutique Ivy Hotel, under construction in Baltimore City’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. The 1889 mansion at North Calvert and Biddle Streets, originally a private residence, became the city-owned Inn at Government House in the 1980’s. More decorative painting by Roenigk and other local artists is already in place at the luxury private hotel, which is slated to open this summer.
Roegnik’s artistic career has undergone several chapters, not unlike the Ivy hotel. The Ellicott City-based artist taught at Baltimore School for the Arts for 25 years, as well as at the college level. She received her MFA in painting from Yale University, and was awarded a prestigious Franz and Virginia Bader Fund grant for her landscape paintings in 2014. Her evocative personal work documents the loss of woods and farmland to suburban development in Baltimore and Howard counties.
Now Roegnik, 56, is exploring another creative direction with the launch of ParrSong Studio and Design. She’ll be using her fine art sensibilities to produce custom decorative painting, murals, painted furniture, faux finishes and trompe l’oeil effects for private clients. Roenigk observed, “The language of paint has not changed since the Renaissance, at least in the traditional way I use it.” She’ll be relying on the skills she has honed as a teacher and landscape painter – patience and discipline – to build her own business. Like the developers of the Ivy Hotel, Roenigk is propelled by the conviction that attention to visual aesthetics can enhance everyday life.