Who are you and what do you do?
I am Kristine Kollasch, a full time artist making a living creating for over 20 years. I have a business, Fine Art & Creative Environments, LLC established in 1997 after leaving an 11 year career at Habitat, Inc., a Tempe based design firm. There I built architectural and topographical scale models, and managed a department creating all things 3D, primarily for marketing centers for new housing developments. Since then, my business has focused on fine art, murals & themed environments, as well as public art.
My fine art ranges from playful and whimsical to highly finessed abstracts. I work in acrylics, mixed media, ceramic and steel. I don’t like to limit my possibilities. Not only am I a full time artist, but I am also involved in the Phoenix community through Valley Leadership and other non profits I believe in.
I also actively participate in the art scene through curating First Studio’s Gallery in the historic first TV Studio in Phoenix. I work directly with youth through Free Arts of Arizona, helping kids in shelters and group homes heal through artistic expression. I also support GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network on a variety of levels.
A long time Phoenix resident, I was born in Gary, Indiana and raised in Colorado, settling in the Valley of the Sun over 30 years ago. I live with my life partner and quite a menagerie of critters in our home in Central Phoenix where my art studio also exists. In my spare time…hmmm, what’s that? I do like to hang out with friends, enjoy live music, sing & dance and play when ever possible.
How did you get your start?
I got my start through my 11 years working at Habitat, Inc. I have a degree in Art Education, but got involved in a very creative design firm fresh out of college. There I was given the experience and guidance to learn the skills needed to start my own business. But before that I had parents who believed in me and my art, and teachers who did too…and the talents I have from somewhere deeper than my own doing. That’s really where I got my start.
What inspires you?
What inspires me? Everything! Nature, love, war, color, the sky, the wind, the rain and sun.
What do you like about AZ?
I do love Arizona! I love the potential it holds and what it has given me and I think there is a lot of opportunity in this state that is constantly growing. Politically AZ’s always (since I’ve been here) been a bit crazy, which stirs opposition and expression. It’s still the wild west, where a person can carry a gun and once you’re out of the city, heck even sometimes in the city, horses are a common creature. I like the diversity of climates within the state. And I like the heat. Paint dries real fast most of the time, and I like that.
Where can we see you(r) work?
You can see my public art all around town with projects in Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, Glendale and Peoria. Much of my public work is ceramic/ tile based, often with accents of steel. You will also find my work in any Adelante Healthcare, from pediatric interactive works to fine art throughout the lobby spaces.
The majority of my fine art you will find at First Studio in Central Phoenix on 631 N 1st Ave. Usually my work fills the upper gallery space, with other shows rotating through the first level space. You can also see current work on my business FB page or my website.
What would like to accomplish before you die?
Before I die…that’s a tough one. Not planning on it any time soon. I like to make the most of every opportunity, so it’s hard to tell what that might be in this lifetime.
What is your mantra?
I have a couple mantra’s… “if it’s not moving, I can paint it”… “there’s not too much we can’t fix”… and “until further notice, celebrate everything!”