Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Kristi: Although I am not a bay area native, I know Oakland is my home. My biological family, scattered about the world, is lovely no doubt. In the past 11 years in Oakland I have found a kin here that doesn’t replace my biology but matches my intentional lifestyle.
Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Kristi: Being raised by a craft family in East Bum Mass-a-tucky (very rural Massachusetts), I had access to my mom’s paint studio and sewing machines and father’s full wood shop and garage at a young age. That was way better then abything on tv (and we stole full cable so that says alot). I mostly thought of art as a hobby until I had fantastic mentors in college and realized it could be more. I was wrapped up in union organizing as well as building opposition to GM foods, FTAA (Free Trade of the Americas), as well as involved in Students against sweatshops but still found time to volunteer teaching art to the Department of Mental Health and at the Survival Center. Living in Oakland has helped me to fuse my activism and art because there is a small economy to support it
Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Kristi: I find my inspiration in nature. Growing up in the sticks nature is THE inspiration. My first painting (which I still have) was of flowers in my front yard. After moving to a city, I have found garbage to drive me to create. I love making from what is discarded, it’s funny when people buy it, it enters the market again in a beautiful new way and taunts commercial consumerism. I am also a teaching/facilitating artist and constantly find inspiration in my students/participants. It’s like a mingling of the minds to create an unstoppable force of unbridled and unending creativity. For me, teaching free classes is absolutely essential. I’m constantly nurturing the next era of the arts movement. It comes from the heart and the guts and letting the youth know there is support, even when they can’t afford expensive classes or institutions, is essential. Art will never come from those with simply the money but it comes from those with the means of expression. I’m working to show the tools and some techniques to express…and this drives me to keep going.
Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Kristi: My first vinyl was Led Zepplin, Houses of the Holy. I still dig it, although my music tastes have grown to include so much more. There’s no beating the scratchy sound of a slightly dusty needle on the wax.
Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Kristi: Something to share….ummmm…when asked for a joke I always think about some really inappropriate jokes that this elder once told me. We’ll save that for personal time though. I’m not going to announce that ludicroucy to the world.