Kym, who taught at the Ontario College of Art, was a close friend of mine for the past twenty-five years. She was bright, strong-willed and talented. Kym was a painter and a glass blower who studied at Seneca College, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and the University of Western Ontario, where she earned a Master's specializing in concepts of art criticism. She taught at the University of Windsor as a sessional lecturer before joining the full-time faculty at OCA. She was one of Toronto's best art show curators and organizers, closely connected to the YYZ Gallery.
That's CV stuff. Those of us who loved her knew her to be very bright, somewhat stubborn, and extremely kind-hearted. She always adopted the cause of the underdog and was one of those people who tried to save every struggling or screwed-up person she came across. In another life, Kym would have been a suffragette or a missionary.
Kym had some bizarre adventures. She travelled through South America for many months, caught Hep B in Brazil and became dreadfully ill, and ended up being cared for in the home of a doctor who fell in love with her. She had already wandered through India for a year.
Kym came from a great family. Her father, who died just a few months ago, overcame the brutal injuries of a teenage accident to get his PhD and become chief psychologist at the Penetanguishene psych hospital. Her mother was an artist and craftsperson who worked at a shelter for abused women and children until her premature death five years ago.
Kym didn't have children and, I think she would forgive me for saying, she was not lucky in love. Her strong desire to help people improve themselves spread, I'm afraid, into her personal life, at great cost to her. But she did have three very loving sisters and a great, kind brother. And she had many, many friends who are utterly shocked that she's gone from us at the age of 48.