Kathryn Knudsen works and lives in Utah. She attended Utah State University in Logan, Utah, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She also earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Brigham Young University, where she taught in the Studio Arts program.
"Kathryn's art utilizes a variety of traditional media, abstract forms, and found objects to produce an artistic vision that can heal, refashion, and beautify. The result--an unpredictable labyrinth of oil paint, canvas, fabric, thread, paper, beads, and other materials--is as luminous as it is provocative, a flash of the unconscious, a dream, a moment of deja vu. Picking up objects that might otherwise languish in scrap heaps, second-hand clothing stores, or boxes of discarded papers, fabrics, and memories, Kathryn's art reintegrates the power of transformed media with therapeutic promise of beauty and artistic experience. In these paintings, sculptures, and installations, the possibility of refashioning the world of discarded consumption becomes an artistic reality, something more than an aspiration, a wholly new experience in itself. To experience Kathryn's art is to realize that the very fabric of our culture and everyday lives can be recast and reclaimed, just as nature does in its endless march of life and desire. The oddness of the human figures, the opalescence of the textures, the quirkiness of the colors--all of these are the life blood of a culture revised. It is a vision in which nothing--no memories, no tradition, no promise--is beyond reclamation."
-- John Williams, Professor of Humanities, Yale University
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in the arts.
I come from a very artistic upbringing. My mother is a visual artist and illustrator. My father and 4 siblings are writers and musicians. Art was ever present and widely available all throughout my childhood. My Mom made the best piñatas and Halloween costumes in the neighborhood and she encouraged us to experiment with all kinds of materials, even allowing us to melt our crayons in the microwave. She would often hold up random objects or plastic packing and ask “What can we make out of this?” My mother more than anyone sparked and encouraged my artistic interests. I went on to study art in college and then again into grad school. I have never stopped creating.
What kind of work are you currently making?
My current work seems to surround the ideas of transforming excess and what some would term waste, into renewed beauties or even back peddling the man made materials back into their more natural states or raw forms.
What is a day like in the studio for you?
My studio is everywhere I go. I have 3 girls ages 13,10 and 7 and they keep me very busy. I’m often working on the sidelines of a tennis match or a waiting room at the orthodontist office. I keep stashes of fabric scraps and donated craft items in my purse and all over the house. My husband often teases me about the things he sometimes finds in my many bags. My hands are rarely idol. It’s uncommon I am present without some sort of project to work on. We recently just went on a week long river trip where I sat on the boat and stitched through most of the trip. So really, everyday is a day in the studio and the studio is just wherever I am at the time.
What are you looking at right now and/or reading?
I recently finished the book Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmere, a Native American botanist. It’s such a powerful memoir about indigenous knowledge mixed with scientific methodologies.
Where can we find more of your work?