Kristin Wenc is our featured artist for the month of February. In her third year as a member at FSC, Kristin creates her abstract acrylic work using a variety of mediums and glazes. She is also a full-time Science and Art teacher at an independent school in downtown Chicago. Kristin has a BA in Psychology, an M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning, and extensive coursework in studio art and art history. Fun fact: Kristin became ordained so she could perform the wedding ceremony for her brother and his amazing bride.
Kristin’s work is featured in Volumes 44 and 46 of Studio Visit magazine. She has participated in numerous group shows and exhibitions, including The Other Art Fair Chicago. Since Fall 2019, Kristin has curated FSC’s ArtWalls corporate exhibition to showcase emerging artists in the Chicagoland area. She regularly donates a portion of her art sales to organizations supporting veterans and mental health.
You can view of some Kristin’s work in person during FSC’s collaborative exhibition The Color Red opening Friday, February 12th.
INTERVIEW WITH KRISTIN WENC
What is one of your first memories of creating a piece of artwork?
I grew up in a small town in southern Missouri and was lucky enough to have family who supported my passions. I got to take extra art classes in high school when others were taking AP Bio (Thank You, Mom!). Well, that extra time in the studio paid off, and I was selected for the state’s annual Promising Artist of the Year (or some such title) exhibition. I distinctly remember how I procrastinated on my submission because I wanted it to be “just right” and make something so incredible that it was bound to catch the eye of a good college recruiter who would surely be wandering through the exhibit. HA! No such thing happened!
I attempted to paint this abstract sky scene, and it completely bombed! I knew very little about painting at the time and even less about how to construct abstract work. I ended up ditching that piece for a pen and ink profile of an imagined caretaker of the earth in pointillism. I don’t remember its dimensions, but I was quite proud of how I managed to hide almost twenty different animals (many endangered) throughout his beard and hairline. Not too shabby for a last-minute submission at age 16.
Has the pandemic provided an inner perspective towards visual art and the process of creating?
I firmly believe that art saves. Whether you’re a performer, a maker, a student, or a viewer, I have deep faith that the arts – in every known iteration – enrich our lives and make us better humans. I am a part of that, as are you. We all make our mark.
Are there moments when you question your career?
Nope! There are many moments when I question what I’ve done with a surface, the palette or application technique that I’ve chosen, the next step for a piece, or how to promote myself and get noticed, but I have no hesitation about the career itself. I spent far too many years flitting from place to place and job to job searching for something that was already within me.
What are you looking forward to in 2021?
Getting my vaccine, holding my grandmother’s hand, and hugging my nieces are at the top of the list. My husband and I postponed a trip to swim with whale sharks last summer, so if it’s determined safe to travel come July, I will be SO pumped! From an art perspective, I’m going bigger than I ever have this year. More journaling, more learning, more studio time, and more vulnerability will help me streamline my business and hone my craft.
As an artist, what do you hang on to for hope and solace during this time?
This is a tough question because I am an artist, an educator who teaches in-person, and a woman who struggles with anxiety and depression. Each of those identities influences how I respond to the current state of the world. I value my relationship with my husband and family (both biological and chosen) above all else. My studio is my sanctuary, but I am also reliant on meditation, laughter, and therapy. I read the July 16 passage in Dr. Wayne Dyer’s You Are What You Think daily. That’s my lighthouse on stormy days.