Kristen makes and teaches art in abroad range of media. She’s a licensed Art educator and masters of Art education candidate at St. Michael’s college. Currently she teaches at Burlington City Arts and Davis Studio, and is also a teaching artist for the Vermont Arts Council, and a VAC grant recipient. Kristen’s work focuses on mixed media intuitive painting, artist books, printmaking, and small scale assemblage. She exhibits her work locally and regionally in both group and solo shows, and has been selected for several juried exhibits. Her work is also held in private and public collections. She has completed artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, and the Rensing Center in South Carolina. I've been a seeker since childhood, earnestly studying, first medicine, then human psychology and sociology, then spiritual and religious teachings. I yearned to understand my life and answer questions about purpose, fulfillment, wholeness, and joy. Though I didn't begin to find answers to these questions until later, I knew that I was supposed was to love others by helping them. My first career was in surgical medicine, where I worked beside surgeons to help people find their health, regain lost mobility, and ease pain. My spiritual and life journey unfolded simultaneously during a three-year bout with a life-threatening illness. I already knew I loved art and teaching, but facing death caused me to reexamine my life and finally admit that I had been unsettled and unhappy for many years in medicine. I knew there was true healing to be found by other means, and I knew that if I recovered I had to leave medicine to begin anew. It wasn't an easy transition, but now I'm fully engaged in my new life and work. Though I make work in a variety of media, the common thread in much of my work, especially of late, is that of building textural, sculptural layers onto a two or three dimensional surface. Unlike many artists, I expose my entire process to the publicmistakes and all - because it's so important to break down the misconception that creativity is a talent and not an acquired and improvable skill. This belief is rooted solidly in my teaching philosophy, as are the ideas of exploration, willingness to experiment and even "fail". My studio and teaching practice feed each other. I use whatever techniques and materials will communicate my ideas effectively. I continue to examine my own ideology and intently watch my day to day thought. While this inward work is going on, I continue to closely observe the flow of everyday objects that find their way into my experience, thinking about how these items came to exist and why and how they ended up in my hands. Increasingly my work contains these repurposed synthetic and organic elements and natural found objects. A discarded takeout container, a make up compact. A broken drinking glass or scrap of fabric. Even more importantly I wonder what potential they have to be deconstructed, reorganized and reimagined after their usual purpose is fulfilled or cut short. This curiosity might tie into the way my own life was utterly deconstructed, reorganized and reimagined. Like many artists, I walk the line between being concerned with how my work makes me think and how it makes me feel. I make art to examine and find insights into the inner spiritual and emotional life and how it exists next to the external physical experience. I'm exploring the idea of reflecting the human transformation from purpose-less to 'purpose-full' - becoming fully aware of our beautiful and blessing purpose and presence. The unfolding of the kingdom of heaven within and without. Art is an act of healing. It's expressed the deepest native qualities of man. I "watch & pray" to find purpose and wholeness- to be the transparency through which the universal ideas of Truth, Live, & Love can shine.