Kendall Hurley was born and raised in the town of Sault Ste. Marie, in Northern Ontario, Canada. Kendall had ‘Congenital Hip Dysplasia’ and her next few years were filled with frog-split casts, leg braces and ‘Crippled Kids Clinics’ (yes, they really were called that). At age 6, Kendall had the good fortune to meet Dr. Robert B. Salter, of The Hospital for Sick Children, at the annual Crippled Kids Clinic. Kendall turned 7 years old while at The Hospital for Sick Children, where she underwent ‘The Salter Procedure’ on her right hip. Dr. Salter became her hero and lifelong friend.
Kendall attended Queen Elizabeth Public School, Collegiate Secondary School and Sir James Dunn C & VS. She is a graduate of The Sault College of Applied Arts & Technology.
Kendall developed an interest in the arts quite young. In her teens, she designed/sold jewellery, created beautiful needlepoints, wrote lyrics/poetry and dressed with flair. Once, unable to find a suitable winter coat, she redesigned her grandmother’s vintage fur.
Kendall married her husband, Michael, and relocated to Manitouwadge, Ontario. They returned to Sault Ste. Marie where Kendall suffered a stillbirth and several miscarriages. At this time, it was determined that Kendall had ‘Mixed Connective Tissue Disease’, which may have contributed to her difficulties with pregnancy. In 1989, to the delight of his parents, Michael Edward Hurley was born.
Days after Michael’s first birthday, Kendall was scheduled for surgery to fuse her right hip. The passing of time and multiple pregnancies had caused her hip to wear and become painful. Once again, Dr. Robert B. Salter would perform her surgery. Kendall developed Osteomyelitis and required more surgeries and years of antibiotics and nursing care. She credits Dr. Salter with saving her life, at this time.
During this time Kendall and her family moved to Timmins, Ontario where they resided for several years. She taught art at the public schools and volunteered as an art teacher at The Children’s Aid Society. Following that, they moved to The Niagara Region and now consider it to be ‘home’.
When Michael was attending high school and making plans for college, Kendall began to consider her options for the future. Health continued to be a relevant factor, but Kendall needed the stimulation of work. After contemplating her options and limitations, Kendall felt that her most viable option was to pursue an art career.
Kendall’s philosophy is that to be ‘of interest’ an artist must have both an original painting technique and original thought. Towards that end, she spent many years developing a unique painting technique she calls ‘Acrylic Blend’. Acrylic Blend is the chemical manipulation and layering of acrylic paint. Kendall is known for her dramatic use of colour and texture.
Kendall’s painting, ‘Unbroken’, was a successful candidate in The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons worldwide art competition to celebrate their 75th Anniversary. Her painting, ‘Unbroken’, was painted to honour Dr. Salter and represents ‘the journey from broken to unbroken’. ‘Unbroken’, was included in a month long show at The Moscone Center on Market Street in San Francisco. It was also included in an AAOS coffee table book and an AAOS online museum.
In 2009, Kendall underwent several surgeries, most notably, left hip replacement surgery. Once again, she is using forearm crutches and is often in leg braces…coming full circle, to her childhood. Although her health continues to decline, she is still quite active with her art career.
Kendall shows in galleries throughout The Niagara Region and The GTA, including Toronto’s Distillery District and Casa Loma. ‘The Kendall Hurley Collection’ is on permanent Exhibit at Chateau Des Charmes Wines, 1025 York Road, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario and open to the public, daily. Kendall has paintings in the private collection of The Sick Kids Foundation, The Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre and in private collections worldwide.
Kendall is a proud supporter of The Sick Kids Foundation/Dr. Robert B. Salter Initiative and has pledged to donate a portion from the sale of each painting to The Foundation.
Although Kendall’s journey to become an internationally known abstract artist has not always been a smooth one it has always, always been a gift. No longer able to work at things she knew, she found her path led to things she loved. With every difficulty, there has been even greater reward. Her paintings speak of life’s greatest gifts…beauty, joy, love, passion and happiness.