It’s a word that many people use to explain why they style clothes, choreograph dance, or compose music. It’s certainly a feeling that drives Kristine Poole to create memorable sculpture, pieces that speak to people. Even more than a feeling, it’s her idée fixe. She feels compelled to tell stories with her work, to stimulate people with her art, to inspire them to reflect on serious subjects. Kristine felt this way since childhood. So, perhaps it was written in the stars for her to be an artist. She simply loves creating things—objects, drawings, assemblages, choreography – anything she can wrap her mind around or gets her hands on. One of her earliest memories is of her mom lifting her up on a high chair so she could draw while she got her siblings ready to head off to school. From that point on, she never stopped creating. Through her school years, she was preoccupied with drawing, painting and sculpting. Watching imagery come to life in her hands, to see the visions that previously existed only in her mind appear in front of her – it always seemed to be on the edge of magic. Kristine received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Northern Michigan University, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a concentration in ceramic sculpture. After apprenticing with both master ceramist John Glick and master glass blower Steven Hourigan, Kristine moved to Santa Fe, NM to work for Shidoni bronze casting foundry. Some time after this move, her creative focus shifted to the performing arts. This turned out to be a critical development in her evolution as an artist. She was forbidden to dance as a child, and in a way, these new experiences completed that past for her. When the busyness of her life didn’t allow for the all-consuming commitment of sculpting in clay, she used dancers as her visual palette, creating her imagery through movement. While concentrating on teaching and developing choreography, Kristine refined her knowledge of bodies, gesture and the human condition. Kristine established and operated her own dance studio as well as founding “Body Flight,” a professional dance company. In 2006, she was selected for New Mexico business weekly’s “40 under 40” award for her contributions in dance and business. After many years of performing, Kristine began waking up at night with a question troubling her mind: what can you bring to the world that would not exist had you not been here? In her heart, she knew the answer was not in the field of performing arts – she knew she had completed what she needed to learn there. It was time to shift all of her focus and energy back to her sculpture. Having come full circle, she applied all she’d learned about movement, line, anatomy and human nature to her fired clay figurative work. Her current work explores themes centered on personal sociocultural experience. Kristine’s approach to the figure shows the inner emotional landscape revealed through the external forms of the body. Human beings are incredibly perceptive of the subtlety of gesture and body language – a particular posture, a look, even a slight tilt of the shoulders communicates volumes in an instant. Her work begins with this notion of our instinctual response to nonverbal communication – the tensing of muscles disclosing acute internal struggle, the slackening of a torso revealing complete capitulation, a shift in the focus of the eyes disclosing innermost thoughts. Contrasting classically rendered figures with contemporary motifs, themes and surface treatments, she frequently juxtapose body language, posture and attitude with text, layering the strength of gesture with the power words have convey, create and define reality and experience. Her sculptures are often large scale as these life-sized works invite the viewer to relate to the experience of the subjects of the pieces, interacting with them at a deeply personal level. Her work is currently represented by EVOKE Contemporary in Santa Fe, NM and has been shown in juried and invitational exhibits across the country. Her sculptures have been juried into various national and international publications, including “500 Figures in Clay,” “CAST,” “Spectrum 22” and “Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art,” receiving the Silver Award in the Dimensional Category, and “The ARC International Salon Catalogue,” for which she received an Honorable Mention in the Sculpture category, among others. Reviews and features of her work have been published by sources including “Fine Art Today,” “Art Ltd.” “Airbrush Action,” “Flesk Publications,” and “Muddy Colors,” among others. Kristine’s work is included in museum permanent collections and private collections of note around the country. She frequently gives lectures, demonstrations, offer workshops and participate on panel discussions regarding art, business, ceramics and large-scale sculpture. Kristine is currently living and working in Santa Fe, NM with her husband, a painter and sculptor with whom she frequently collaborate on unique projects.
- George W. Handrahan
- Terry Whyte