Nina Kessler – Featured Artist


Nina Kessler joined us for the first time this year during the Art Walk event where she had work on display and an art installation of umbrellas. She will be participating with us again by doing art installations for our upcoming MetamorFest 2014 event.  We had a chance to speak with her and discuss her creative process.


Umbrella installationWhere do you find inspiration?

NK- I find inspiration in human interactions with nature. Science, mythology and politics are all elements that I explore when making art. Things that make me sit back in awe are the things I want to share in my art.

How did you begin your journey through the arts?

NK- When I was about 9 years old, I had used paints for the first time in school. I loved it so much that I wanted to paint at home. I saw that my brother had paint for his model planes, so I “borrowed” them. I got into trouble for it but that desire to paint has never left me.

What is the story behind one of your pieces that you find particularly meaningful?

NK- My favourite right now is a photographic piece I did last year. I saw the movie Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which I highly recommend. The images on the caves are stunning works of art. They look like they were painted yesterday. It made me wonder what we are leaving behind for people to discover thousands of years from now. To me, we all seem as enamored with our cell phones as that cave painter was with horses. So I blended the two together, a picture of people on their cellphones, with a repeating cell phone image overlapping the image of the horses at the Chauvet Cave. I hope that it challenges the viewer regarding our means of communication and what is truly lasting.

How would you describe your medium as it compares to others? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

NK- I have expanded my medium from mostly painting and drawing to using any object. I like the instantaneous response that can be felt from objects that are meaningfully placed and altered. Two dimensional pictures are great for conveying an idea, but I think installations create an element of a very tactile nature. You can go “inside” the experience the artist is trying to share. But painting definitely has its charms and can be accessible for viewers. I find painting very challenging as a medium.

ninaWhich mentors(s) do you admire the most and what have they taught you?

NK- I have to say that Guadalupe Martinez, my TA for one of my art classes, has been a recent inspiration for me. She introduced me to the whole world of art outside of traditional methods. But more than that, I learned from her that art is an exploration beyond the immediate composition. It is fabulous lesson for me.

What challenges and rewards have you found in your community-based art projects?

NK- I love getting to meet the community and see what each person experiences from my work, and from the events themselves. I think we are so lucky to be in a neighbourhood that is ripe with creativity and an openness to non-traditional ways of interacting. The Dude Chilln’ sign being an example.

For additional information please visit Nina Kessler’s website

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