Kimberly Varnadoe-Carden

Professor of Art

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

Professor Varnadoe came to Salem in 1994 after reading the job ad where the requirements were listed as teaching painting and printmaking and starting a graphic design concentration. She holds a BFA in painting and 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 photography experience and has been working with experimental photo techniques. 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 exhibits her work often and is a board member of Artworks Gallery in Winston-Salem.

Professor Varnadoe loves 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. Students 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 taken students on numerous Jan Term trips to Italy, Argentina and Ecuador has frequent experience in the Caribbean and Mexico for vacations.

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. 

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