About Kris

I grew up along the banks of the Stillwater River in Northwestern Montana. The river was swift and pristine. Languid in summer, it swelled in spring to flood, break through small dams and carry entire trees downstream. Children drowned in it. Farmers sprayed its marshy edges with DDT.

For most of my adult life I have lived and worked near the Skagit River in northwestern Washington State. The Skagit feeds a rich, often conflicting, ecosystem of wildlife, agriculture, hydroelectric power and commerce.

I walk daily on a trail just a few steps from my studio. It winds along an earthen dike that protects fertile farmland, fed by the Skagit River, from the saltwater beyond. It is a luminous, magical landscape and I never tire of it. It is far from wild, however. The dike is man-made, Navy A6s cut through the sunset and the sounds from a nearby highway can drown out the chatter of shorebirds.

These two rivers, and the landscapes through which they flow, have defined much of my thinking, values and artistic decisions.

Today, I’m fascinated by the edges of highly cultivated farmland edged by historic dikes of varying ages and integrity. This “cusp” of landscape, so mysterious – is the farmland gaining on the saltwater beyond? Or, are the floating pieces of farmland, now islands lost to the salty tide, a gesture of surrender? The layers of old dikes must have once inspired hope and agricultural triumph. Now, as coastal waters rise, they seem a bit fragile.

Before becoming a full-time artist, I was lucky enough to work at North Cascades Institute where I collaborated with a highly creative group of people dedicated to conservation. I also served as director of the Museum of Northwest Art where I saw how other artists have related to the environment of this unique place.

My work is inexorably linked to where I live and what I have
learned here.

 

 
Photo by Cathy Stevens

Photo by Cathy Stevens


Select Exhibitions

See NEWS for details on upcoming exhibitions.

2015

Roby King Gallery, group printmaking show (October)
MUSEO, solo exhibition of new work, Langley (October)
Smith and Vallee Gallery, Edison (June, with Elizabeth Tapper, printmaker)
Skagit Women Print," Shoreline Community College (January)
Depot Gallery, Anacortes, WA (April)
Roby King Gallery, Bainbridge Island, WA (March)
Smith and Vallee Gallery, Edison, WA (June)
 

2014

MUSEO Gallery, Langley, WA
Solo exhibition of new monotypes and paintings 

 “Layers of Perception: Five Northwest artists explore grids, mesh, webs and line” 
Moses Lake Museum, Moses Lake WA

“New Work,” Smith and Vallee Gallery, Edison, WA
With sculptor Tracy Powell

Anacortes Arts Festival, Anacortes, WA
Featured artist in the juried “Focus Gallery”

Skagit Valley Art Escape, Mount Vernon, WA
Solo exhibition of drawings and monotypes

 “Skagit Women Print,” Anchor Art Space, Anacortes, WA
Prints from a new portfolio of 18 Skagit Valley artists

“Sky,” Smith and Vallee Gallery, Edison, WA

2013

“Fragments of Place,” Smith and Vallee Gallery, Edison, WA
Solo exhibition of new monotypes and paintings

“Northwest Icons,” Atelier 6000, Bend, OR
Invitational group exhibition

“Bird Show,” Smith and Vallee Gallery, Edison, WA
Invitational group exhibition

“Dry Ice: Shaping the Northwest Landscape,” Anchor Arts Space, Anacortes, WA
Invitational group exhibition

2012

“First Impressions: Drawings from Grand Coulee”
Moses Lake Museum and Art Center, Moses Lake, WA
Solo exhibition of large-scale drawings

“On to the Next One: Northwest Printmakers,” Smith and Vallee Gallery, Edison, WA

“From the Flats,” Smith and Vallee Gallery, Edison, WA
Solo show of new monotypes

“Alive, Dead,” Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA

2011

New Work from Skagit Valley Artists
Edison Eye Gallery, Edison, WA

“Skagit Farm Landscapes” (solo show)
Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland, Mount Vernon, WA

2010

“The Bird Show, Smith and Vallee Gallery, Edison, WA

2009

“Confluence: Artists of the North Cascades Institute”
Smith and Vallee Gallery, Edison, WA

“Skagit Structures,” Bitters Co., Seattle, WA

2008

“What You Don’t See: Field Drawings from the Upper Skagit Valley”
Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon, WA
Solo exhibition of large-scale drawings 

2007

“Field Season: New Works from the North Cascades,” Smith and Vallee Gallery, Edison, WA
With David Hall and Paul Havas

2004

“Heads,” The Edison Eye, Edison, WA

 

Curating

Curated “Layers of Perception: Five Northwest artists explore grids, webs and line” (2014) Moses Lake Museum, WA

Collections

North Cascades Institute, Sedro-Woolley, WA

Hospice of the Northwest, Mount Vernon, WA

Anacortes Arts Festival, Anacortes, WA

Furlong Butler Attorneys, Mount Vernon, WA

Education

BFA, Pacific Lutheran University