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Staff Spotlight: Kristi Day / MAC Teaching Artist

1. When did you first realize you were an artist or wanted to be an artist?

I always enjoyed art from when I was really young and remember my teachers telling my parents I had a good sense for color and shape in preschool. But I wouldn’t have considered myself an artist until I went to Pennsylvania as an exchange student in high school. We had so much fun in art class and I built confidence in my own work and ability, enough to choose a full art and sculpture program in high school when I got back home to Sweden.

2. You have worked in a variety of art mediums, do you have a favorite? If so, why is it your favorite?

I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of mastering each medium, or at least having fun trying. I often gravitate toward acrylic paint for a lot of my own work, but for a long time aquarelle was my go-to. Oh, and I super enjoy getting my hands messy with clay.

3. If you could learn any other arts medium, what would it be? Why?

I want to learn everything! I’ve never tried stone carving and would love to learn how to do that. I find it fascinating to work with a medium that isn’t malleable and that is so unforgiving to making mistakes. I think it would be a fun challenge to have the full vision of what you want to turn a lump of stone into before you start, and chiseling away to make that come to life. I would also love to learn more about ceramics, throwing clay, glazes, and all the science that goes with that.

4. What is your favorite part of your job as a Teaching Artist with MAC?

Getting to meet all the adorable and awesome kids and see what creations they come up with for each art session we have. I love the questions they ask, how their minds work, and the fantastic stories they create in their artwork. They all inspire me to create.

5. Why do you think the arts are so important right now?

Art is always important. Some artists use their art to tell political stories, express inequality, etc. My art has always mostly been for myself. An outlet and a space where I can create things when I don’t have words. Sometimes it’s just the tactile feeling of the clay, or the pride in watching your work take shape as you envisioned it. Sometimes the feedback from other people builds self esteem. I think art is important because it allows each person to create something of their own, which to me has always been a powerful feeling. When math is hard or your family is challenging, art can be a way to do something different without judgement. Because in art there isn’t really a right or wrong answer. Especially if you’re just doing it for yourself.


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