The Artist Within
To see a vision through is the best feeling in the world. Thanks to Heath, Molly, and Jay at Spratx for bringing me on board with Ignite Studios and for seeing my potential, making my dream a reality. Also a big thank you to everyone who attended the opening night, it really meant a lot to me.
Join us Friday, Feb 23rd for a sneak peak at Kristin's new series - The Artist Within. Her new body of work, a series of portraits of Austin's very own creative painters, searches for a deeper understanding of what it really means to be an artist.
The Austinot: Interview with Kristin Freeman
Article by JOLEEN JERNIGAN
Look for Kristin Freeman Art (KristinXO) around town
Kristin Freeman’s beautiful, large-scale paintings of graceful, bold women caught my eye at once. She takes a woman in an everyday scenario, and is able to bring out her unique beauty and personality.
Austinot: How did you get started painting in such a large medium, and what is the advantage/reward of painting such large pieces?
Kristin: The first mural I painted was at Neon Desert Music Festival many years ago. I’ve been hooked ever since. Painting large scale requires an abundance of energy and movement unlike anything I’ve experienced; your whole body becomes one with the art. It’s a remarkable feeling to create a piece so much larger than yourself. It reminds both the artist and the viewer that anything is possible.
Austinot: Why do you believe Austin is a good/supportive city for street art/murals?
Kristin: Austin is a wonderful city for street art because it’s always seen the value in the weird and unconventional. This city was built on individuals who were brave enough to face their fears and follow the paths they were born to be on, for they trusted that their truest selves could only be found once living their passions…
The city has grown and changed, but I believe Austin has remained true to itself, ready to support its budding and professional artists. Austin has openly embraced the idea of using street art as a vehicle for unique self-expression by its own artists, which not only beautifies the city, but also keeps what is truly Austin alive.
Austinot: Could you describe one of your favorite experiences painting a piece?
Kristin: One…is painting a mural at H.O.P.E. Outdoor Gallery upon my return from a life-changing year of travel. My husband and I built a teardrop trailer and hit the open road. Eventually we made our way to the Pacific Northwest and south to San Diego, before heading overseas. Our trip ranged from camping in the woods with grizzlies, to sleeping in penthouses, to being completely and utterly broke, to housesitting in La Jolla, to getting interviewed by Drew Carey about our crazy adventure, to sleeping in a hostel in Kosovo. It was a wild year-and-a-half of travel and painting remotely…
I was so ready to return to Austin because my love for the city never waned and…I was ready to be in one place again. In Austin, I painted “Waves” at the graffiti park. I was back home again and felt more rejuvenated than ever.
Kristin Freeman’s “Waves” adorned a big wall at H.O.P.E. Outdoor Gallery (Credit: Kristin Freeman)
Austinot: What inspires you to paint?
Kristin: I’m deeply inspired by the positive relationships in my life and travel. I enjoy nurturing existing friendships, but also meeting new people and getting to know the deepest parts of them. I consider travel to be a necessary part of my life, in order to experience different ways of living and to gain new perspective. My twenties were spent traveling to Paris since I have family there and those years have especially impacted my life and work.
Austinot: What/who in Austin do you admire or gain inspiration from?
Kristin: I admire my artist friends who are not afraid to face their fears and pursue their dreams, those who get up everyday to live their passion. Just a few of these lovely souls here in Austin are Lucas Aoki, Monica Ceniceros, Kelly Bruemmer, Whitney Turetzky, Brooke Robinson, Flip Solomon, Mike Johnston, Miles Starkey, Zuzu, Heath Speakman, Matt Magill, Erik Ross, Liza Fishbone, Blvd, Jason Eatherly, ER., Goodfield.
Kristin Freeman has a solo show on Feb. 23, 2018.
2nd Annual ATX Gals Galentine’s Show
February 16 @ 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Austin, Texas— AtxGALS kicks off 2018 with their second annual Galentine’s Show, a pop-up art party celebrating Austin’s emerging women artists.
Following their model of making art more accessible to Austinites, the event will be held at the beautiful South Congress Hotel from 6pm-11pm on Friday, February 16th. The party will feature the work of 15 local female artists, craft cocktails from South Congress Hotel, two live DJ sets, swag bags for the first 100 attendees, and fun raffles throughout the night. Tickets for the event include General Admission for just $15 and Early Bird VIP for $35.
This will be the first 2nd annual show for atxGALS. In 2017, they broke into the pop-up art party scene with the main goal of bringing more exposure and recognition for women in art, and to make art exhibits more accessible and fun for the general public, all while giving back to organizations that align with women empowerment and women’s rights.
Their first four shows: Galentine’s Show, Celebrate HER, DISCOVERY and Slay Soiree were a complete success, leaving artists and guests wanting more. atxGALS continues to support women artists and organizations that align with women’s issues in 2018 with Galentine’s Show.
Proceeds from the event ticket sales will benefit the Girl’s Empowerment Network and SAFE, a merger of SafePlace and the Austin Children’s Shelter.
Stay tuned and follow atxGALS on social media for more information.
Instagram: @atxGALS Facebook: @atxGALS
Art Basel, Wynwood Walls, Scope Art show
Austin was cold and rainy the moment I stepped onto the plane headed to Miami, but I was grinning from ear to ear. Freedom to explore the possibilities. I made it to Miami in the afternoon. The air was warm, humid, and windy. I decided to rent a car and one of my favorite moments was driving by myself on the highway, taking in the views: palms, high rises, curved lines. I was meeting up with several friends, all artists.
First stop was E.R. and Kazilla’s event near Wynwood. Everyone had been working on their murals at the huge warehouse and it looked awesome. I met some new artists and had a badass vegan taco from a local food truck (watch out Austin). Every morning our group ate at the same Cuban grocery / cafe and gorged on plantains, yucca, chicken soup, and Cuban cafe con leche (which is the bomb). We’d take our time to enjoy a meal over conversation, mostly centered around Art.
Over the next few days our group explored Wynwood Arts District, which totally blew us away. I can’t even tell you how many murals there were by SO many artists from around the world. Pop up events were in abundance, making it difficult to choose from. We opted to check out Scope Art Show in Miami Beach, a paid event (many are free), but us gals lucked out when someone handed us a VIP pass as we walked in. Scope was super impressive and I left very inspired. Afterwards we explored a famous Cuban bar and dance club that looked like Christmas in Vegas on steroids. For dinner we walked to a local Miami Beach fave serving traditional Cuban. We sung happy birthday to Liza Fishbone and the whole restaurant chimed in. Pure bliss.
It was really wonderful to travel with other supportive artists. We often discussed our wants, needs and dreams in the art world. We’re ready to make shit happen. Thanks Art Basel for the inspiration and see you next year!
Artists: Nanu Berks, Jomau, Kristin Freeman XO, Jmuzacz, Liza Fishbone, Helena Martin, Chelsea Maria, Chalk Riot, Kiptoe
By Zuzu Perkal
Freeman is one of Austin’s leading female visual artists, spreading her messages of love, female empowerment, and inspiration with the world. Currently one of our resident artists in the SprATX Ignite Program, a newly created platform to equip selected artists with the support and tools necessary to kindle art career to new levels. It’s part of our mission to help sustain and evolve alongside the Austin art scene. She’s in the midst of creating an entirely new body of work that will be displayed in early 2018 in the SprATX Gallery.
SprATX: Share with us a little about your path as a visual artist. How did it all start and how has it evolved over time?
Freeman: Hi, my name is Kristin Freeman and I’m an artist based in Austin, Texas. I’ve been creating art since a small child. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my mom drawing portraits. I would take my incredibly poor drawing to her and ask “how can I make this better?” and she would give me tips. As a pre-teen I loved drawing women out of my seventeen magazines, making up characters and stories in my worn-out sketch pad. It was purely for the joy of creating that got me hooked. Although I have consistently drawn women, my style has evolved over the years, but I would define it as Pop Art-meets-Street Art.
SprATX: What can people expect in the new body of work you’re creating?
Freeman: I’m currently working on a body of work that explores and celebrates the strength and power of women, especially women of our time. I’m inspired by women who posses a unique set of characteristics, a combination that I think is rare – kind, loving, fearless, passionate, confident, resilient, not afraid to express themselves fully and stay on the path they were born to be on.
SprATX: Where do you find your inspiration? Who are some of your favorite artists?
Freeman: I pull inspiration from travel, fashion, and ultimately positive relationships. I have family in France and spent my twenties visiting Paris every year on what little money I had, soaking in art and history. I love meeting new people and prefer to get past the small talk, diving into the deepest parts of who someone is to find the real them. Some of my favorite artists are painters Amylee, Carly Ealy, Ernesto Yerena, Exist1981, Eli Halpin, Emily Ding, and Helena Martin. I’m also inspired by people in my life of different art forms, such as actors Wallis Currie-Wood, Alex Sharp, and the band Good Field.
My artist friends’ happiness and successes is a great inspiration to me, it gives me joy and pushes me to keep creating, reinforcing that this idea of living a life as an artist IS in fact possible.
SprATX: Share why you love Austin, TX and how it’s influenced your art career. What do you think makes the Austin art scene so special?
Freeman: I always wanted to live in Austin. It’s completely and utterly different than any other city in Texas and is the ONLY place that I consistently feel like I can be myself 100%. Austin is open to the “weird,” creative, and no one cares about trying to conform, in fact it’s the opposite. Creatives are celebrated here, the art scene is blowing up and the city is openly embracing it’s own local artists. This supportive community enables artists to thrive. I also love nature and the outdoors, and Austin has so many options!
SprATX: Explain your experience in the SprATX Ignite Studio Program.
Freeman: I really love Spratx and all that they’ve done for the studio program. It’s really nice to come into my studio, which is currently next to Lucas Aoki, a good friend of mine and have a place to be creative outside of my house. The Spratx team is super encouraging, open to new ideas, and is always ready to help out when needed. I’m very thankful for the opportunity and support!
SprATX: If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
Freeman: Live your dream! Don’t give up.