Kim Varnadoe-Carden

Professor of Art
  • BFA, University of South Alabama; MFA, Memphis State University

Professor Kim Varnadoe is originally from a little bedroom town called Ocean Springs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It is a beautiful, artsy town filled with galleries, boutiques, and gorgeous old live oaks.

Professor Varnadoe came to Salem after reading the job ad where the requirements were listed as teaching painting and printmaking and starting up a graphic design concentration. Since she had her BFA in painting and her MFA in printmaking and had been teaching a graphic design program for several years, it appeared as if the job description had been written just for her.

Professor Varnadoe sees the potential of a women’s college to build confidence in women every day. At Salem, there is an open atmosphere that encourages women to speak their minds and open their hearts in an honest, caring environment which creates women of confidence and courage.

Professor Varnadoe explores a wide variety of techniques and mediums within the visual arts field. Although she has degrees in painting and printmaking, she has had a lot of photography experience and has been working with experimental photo techniques for over ten years. She loves film and working in the darkroom and has had extensive experience with a variety of instant films, producing Polaroid emulsion lifts and other manipulations of instant films. She tries to exhibit often and just recently had three shows in the Triad area.

Professor Varnadoe loves all the courses she teaches. The studio art classes each have their own challenges and rewards which differ from year to year based on the students. She is probably most known among the students for teaching color theory (advanced 2-D design). It is the first course that many students take with her, and her promise is that she will change the way they see and students always agree that the course lives up to the promise.

She encourages prospective art students to come with an open mind and a love for learning. Experience is a plus, but not necessary. The love for learning the discipline is what is most important.

For pleasure, Professor Varnadoe loves to travel. She has had frequent experience in the Caribbean and Mexico for vacations, and she has had wonderful experiences in Italy and in Argentina with students during January Term travel trips.
Students entering the art discipline will receive one-on-one attention from the faculty and benefit from a group of peers that are as interested in their success as their own. Professor Varnadoe is involved in the lives of students whether it be advising, mentoring or assisting with internships and job placement. She is an advocate for her students on all levels and tries to always be available for them, whatever their needs may be.
Professor Varnadoe has been married for over twenty-five years to another college professor. They have two great kids – a son in college now and a daughter in high school. They are all dog lovers and currently have three dogs and one cat that adopted them a few years ago. They also have a 100-gallon aquarium full of fish.

Favorite Quote:

Professor Varnadoe has several favorite quotes. Most of them are from one of her favorite books, Gifts From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg. Her description and advice for women, written in the 1950s, is timeless and very relevant to women today.