Thursday, May 9, 2013

Kristen Arden - Sculptor

Bindings Series #1
Kristen Arden

Name:  Kristen Arden  
City/State:  Minneapolis, MN
Email: profile: Arden, Kristen
Facebook page:  Kristen Arden
Twitter: @kardenstudio

I graduated with a BA in Painting and Drawing and spent my 20’s working in various art-related jobs, including completing a Master’s Degree in Art History with the thought I could teach and do art on the side.  When it became clear I had to choose between Art History and Art I returned to art-making after I moved out to San Francisco. I fell in love with building, sculpture, and working with metal (both casting and fabricating) while taking classes at CCAC and working.  In mid-2003 I moved to Minneapolis from San Francisco and started working out of my Northrup King Building studio.  I currently work full-time doing custom commercial and residential work and have work in corporate and private collections including with Loram, the Westin, and United Health Group.

Bindings Series #2

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I work in series.  I come up with an idea or premise, start to work it over in my head and then work it out through sculptures, both wall and free-standing pieces.  I rework it as many times as I feel the idea or series can remain fresh.

I’ve recently begun working on some new series, and am continuing work on others. The most recent series I’ve been working on are my Architectonic Series that are installations based on architectural styles, and what I’m calling my Botanic Series, first inspired while thinking about Carl Linnaeus’ drawings and approach to the ‘natural world’.  I’ve also started thinking about symbolism, but am still working some of that out.  In both these series I’m abstracting, enlarging, and then reassembling snapshots of either a design or plant as an installation.  Both new series have a relationship to my past work, but are more sculptural in nature than my Earthworks Series, in particular.

Nothing in Progression Lies on its Original Path

How did you decide to become an artist?
I grew up drawing and spent hours looking through my Dad’s collection of art books.  I found them endlessly fascinating and still remember those books vividly.  It was pretty exciting and eye-opening to me as a kid, looking at all those paintings and thinking about the artists that created them. I think I’ve always felt compelled by art, and always wanted to create, draw, build, whatever.  I was also endlessly fascinated by my Dad’s shop and would watch him work in it.  It wasn’t til after college that I realized you could put the two together.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 
Probably the best piece of advice I’ve gotten was from a teacher who remarked how important taking time out while you’re working on a piece to think about what you’re doing and why is just as, if not more, important than how determined and tenacious you are in your work.  It may seem obvious but it really resonated with me.

Natural History Museum Project: Map and Boat

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?

I found having a good website was critical for getting my work out there and found by people (  I think it’s also important to do a lot of day-to-day things that may not seem significant but at the end of a year add up to a lot of proverbial ground covered.

Botanic Series #1

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

Maren Kloppmann
Jennifer Davis
Danny Saathoff
Shannyn Joy Potter

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?

When I get the chance I love going to any of the bigger museums – the MIA (, the Walker (, and the Weisman (  The sculpture park at the Walker is always fun, as is Franconia Sculpture Park (  And of course some local galleries too when I get the opportunity to go to an opening, like Gallery 360 (

In addition to, where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise? 

I actually see a lot of interesting art and artists pop up through Facebook and perusing online papers like the Huffington Post. 

Architectonic Series #1

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I have some new work up at Gallery 360 for a show featuring another artist, Natasha D’Schommer (, that opened in March.   I recently installed a larger-scale window installation at a business storefront in mid-March, and am working on some new pieces that I’ll show during Art A Whirl (May 17-19, 2013)  in the Northrup King Building and then move to a gallery. In addition I have some commission work I’m working on, and continue thinking about where I want to go with my work next.

Kristen Arden

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