It’s a word that many people use to explain why they style clothes, choreograph dance, or compose music.
It’s certainly something that drives me to create memorable sculpture, pieces that speak to people. Even more than a feeling, it’s my idée fixe. I am compelled to tell stories with my work, to stimulate people with my art, to inspire them to reflect on serious subjects, to open doors for conversation.
I’ve been this way since childhood - perhaps it was written in the stars for me to be an artist. I simply love making things. One of my earliest memories is of my mom lifting me up on a high chair so I could draw while she got my siblings ready to head off to school. From that point on, I never stopped creating. The experience of imaginings that exist in my mind coming to life in my hands always seems a tiny bit of magic.
Balancing classical inspiration with contemporary expressive realism, Kristine Poole’s work highlights the beauty and inherent narrative qualities of the human form. Featuring themes as diverse and focused as the artist herself, these clay and bronze figurative sculptures open doors to conversation, dancing effortlessly between social commentary, archetypal motifs and imaginative realism.
Winner of the 2020 Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize Yasha Young Projects Sculpture category, Kristine’s sculptures have also garnered awards in competitions including Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, The Art Renewal Center’s International Art Salon and Infected By Art, among others.
Her sculpture has been featured in books and periodicals including The Wall Street Journal, Beautiful Bizarre, CAST: Art and Objects Made Using Humanity’s Most Transformational Process, Masters of Contemporary Fine Art, Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics Ireland, 500 Figures in Clay, American Art Collector and Art Ltd.
She has been commissioned to create works ranging from the petite to monumental for various public and private collectors including The Carnegie Library in Michigan, Spectrum, The Denver Comic Con, The Department of Game and Fish and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. She has received numerous invited artist residency grants including Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts and Buffalo Creek Art Center.
Recognizing the potential for the arts to enlighten and shift perspectives, Kristine has long been a dedicated proponent of encouraging creativity in others. As such, she is a monthly contributor to the Fantastic Art blog, Muddy Colors, and frequently gives demonstrations and lectures on art and business, most recently at the Albuquerque Museum of Art, Las Cruces Art Museum, Northern Michigan University, The Goggleworks and Santa Fe College. She is also the co-founder of the Spectrum Rising Star Award, which recognizes an emerging new voice in the field of Fantastic Art each year.
In 2019, Kristine was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award 27 years after graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramic Sculpture from Northern Michigan University. She currently lives and creates in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains overlooking Santa Fe, frequently collaborating on sculpture projects with her husband, Colin Poole.
This passion I had for making things from my earliest days only intensified with the passing of time.
On the well intentioned advice from a high school guidance counselor who said that if I intended to go into the arts, I’d probably better have something to fall back on, I enrolled in some education classes my first semester at university.
But back in the dorms, one of my roommates was taking a class called “Physical Aspects of the Visual Arts.” Each week she came home exasperated about the next assignment she had to do. When she got to the one where she had to design a container for an egg that they could throw off the top floor of the fine arts building, I lost my mind… I loved the class and wasn't even in it!
I started doing the assignments for myself in my dorm room. The next semester, that was the first class I registered for, thinking, “I’ll just get it out of my system, then I can get back to being responsible.” Well, nearly three decades later, I’m happy to report that it never got out of my system. Art is still my passion and it has been the most incredible journey.
The thing is: passion does not need a back up plan. Following your passion isn’t always the easy path, but if you are passionate about something, you will surmount any challenge that comes your way. You figure out how to make it work as you go.
Life throws speed bumps all over any path you try that’s not the one you should be walking down. When you start on your true path, doors of opportunity open all around you. When one of those doors of opportunity slams shut, as they sometimes do, it usually jars a few more open. Passion gives you the courage to walk through the new ones.
The first time I stepped into a clay studio, I knew this was to be my life’s work. The smell and the feel were as familiar to me as my own hands. The tactile nature of forming the clay was irresistibly seductive, hinting at an innate connection between creativity and sensuality which led me directly to working with the figure. From the beginning, I sensed that the limitless possibilities of an unformed lump of clay made it the perfect medium with which to explore the infinite expressions imaginable with the human body.
Concept is essential in my work. Classically inspired with contemporary undertones, my sculptures feature diverse topics including sociocultural experience and commentary, the artist's muse and reflections on my personal life odyssey. These ideas are developed intuitively on the timeless fundamentals of anatomy and attention to detail, blending the challenges of rendering the beauty of the human form with my inherent curiosity and love for storytelling.
With many pieces, my focus is on telling the story simply through the figure itself, but just as frequently, I use the form as a canvas. I often cover the body with text, juxtaposing a visceral reaction to the subtleties of body language with a time-based, cerebral response to the power of words. Relief imagery and motifs are also used at times to embellish the story of the piece. Both the text and relief work create patterns that obscure and at the same time emphasize the forms of the body, heightening the sense of being able to read a person’s interior landscape and experience through the external forms of the body.
Often life-sized, my sculptures are built hollow, with no armature inside and fired in one piece. Large scale figurative sculpture fascinates me - both the physicality of building it and the way it leaves a palpable impression of another being in my space, one that demands my notice and attention.
To pause for a few moments, lost in the experience of a sculpture, engaging in the questions, considerations and imagery as its story unfolds is ultimately sharing a moment in the imagination of the maker and opens the door for the viewer to ponder and begin creating for themselves, if only in their mind.
Passion doesn’t have an expiration date.
We are all the lucky ones - because we’re still here, we still have time to fulfill our passions, whatever they may be. People frequently put aside dreams from their youth, but often, if you look, those dreams still wander the back forty of your heart.
Passion is powerful, especially when it’s used in the service of contribution and making a difference. Ever wonder what's one of the best uses of a cell phone? Texting, calling someone you love - that’s terrific. But try using the timer - pick something you’ve always wanted to do, learn or try and pick an amount of time each day, each week, each month that you know you can commit to - say ten minutes every day.
Set the timer and work on that thing - no email, no Facebook - just that thing. At the end of a week, you’ll be over an hour closer to achieving the thing that’s been tugging at your heart. At the end of a year, you’ll have put in 60 hours towards a pursuit that enlivens your soul. Just imagine what would happen with 20 minutes a day of uninterrupted focus on something you love. With focus and determination, passions followed = passions fulfilled.
Education 1992 BFA (Summa Cum Laude, Ceramic Sculpture) Northern Michigan University - Marquette, MI Valedictorian Scholarship, Board of Control Visual Arts Scholarship, Novi Art Scholarship
Workshops, Residencies, Assistantship Grants and Apprenticeships
2017 Buffalo Creek Art Center. Gardnerville, NV. Residency: Invited Artist. 2016 Watershed Center for The Ceramic Arts, “Exploring the Figure,” Newcastle, ME. Kiln God Award 2014 Anatomy Tools, “Human Anatomy 1” workshop with Andrew Cawrse, Las Vegas, NV 2013 Santa Fe Clay, “The Figure as Artificial Artifact” workshop with Thaddeus Erdahl, Santa Fe, NM 2012 Santa Fe Clay, “Cold Finishes” workshop with Gretchen Ewert, Santa Fe, NM. Assistantship Grant 2011 Santa Fe Clay, “Figure Sculpting” workshop with Lisa Reinertson, Santa Fe, NM. Assistantship Grant 1993 Plum Tree Pottery, Apprenticeship with John Glick, Master potter, Farmington Hills, MI 1994 Crysophis Glass, Apprenticeship with Steven Hourigan, Master Glass Blower, Tesuque, NM
Selected Solo, Group and Juried Exhibitions 2021 Animalia by Beautiful Bizarre. Haven Gallery, Northport, NY 2021 Lucid Dreaming by Beautiful Bizarre. Copro Gallery. Los Angeles, CA 2020 Midnight Garden by Beautiful Bizarre. Modern Eden Gallery. San Francisco, CA 2020 23rd San Angelo National Ceramic Competition. San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. San Angelo, TX 2020 Creatures Most Curious. Mazza Museum. Findlay, OH 2020 ArtsThrive. Albuquerque Museum of Fine Arts, Albuquerque, NM 2019 Parallels. EVOKE Contemporary. Santa Fe, NM 2019 Sculpture in the Park. Benson Sculpture Garden. Loveland, CO 2019 IX: 12, Imagine This. A Celebration of Imaginative Realism. Goggleworks, Reading, PA 2019 Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize Exhibition. Modern Eden Gallery. San Francisco, CA 2019 Inspired. Mazza Museum, Findlay, OH 2018 Holy Moly. Niza Knoll Gallery. Denver, CO 2018 CAST: Art and Objects. Wayne Art Center. Wayne, PA 2018 Art Elevated. New York City, NY 2018 22nd National Ceramic Competition. San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. San Angelo, TX 2018 Maidens of Myth. Mazza Museum. Findlay, OH 2018 IX:11, Imagine This. A Celebration of Imaginative Realism. Goggleworks, Reading, PA 2018 In Repose. EVOKE Contemporary. Santa Fe, NM 2018 Visual Voices: Truth Narratives. Contemporary Craft. Pittsburgh, PA 2018 Sculpture in the Park. Loveland, CO 2017 Contemporary Figurations. Annie Meyer Gallery. NCECA, Portland, OR 2017 Naked in Santa Fe. Offroad Productions. Santa Fe, NM 2017 The Enchanted Brush Exhibition-Villains. Mazza Museum, Findlay, OH 2017 Scarab Club Silver Medal Exhibition. Scarab Club, Detroit, MI 2017 IX:10, Imagine This. A Celebration of Imaginative Realism. Goggleworks, Reading, PA 2017 2017 Women’s Works. The Old Courthouse Arts Center, Woodstock, IL 2017 Spectrum Fantastic Art Live. Kansas City Convention Center, Kansas City, MO 2016 IX:9, Imagine This. A Celebration of Imaginative Realism. Goggleworks, Reading, PA 2016 National Sculpture Society’s 2016 83rd Annual Awards Exhibition. Pawleys Island, SC 2016 Point of Vision. Museum of American Illustration, New York City, NY 2016 ICONIC. EVOKE Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM 2016 Refined IX. SFA Art Galleries, Nacogdoches, TX 2016 Erotica. MEI Gallery, Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 2015 Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics. Zanesville Museum of Fine Art, Zanesville, OH 2015 From the Ground Up XXVII. Las Cruces Museum of Art, Las Cruces, NM 2015 Monochromatic. EVOKE Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM 2015 Lennon. Krab Jab Gallery, Seattle, WA 2015 Epic. EVOKE Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM 2014 Re-presenting the Nude III. EVOKE Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM 2014 2013 / 2014 ARC International Salon. Art Renewal Center, Port Reading, NJ 2014 Art You Can Feel. Westpark Gallery, Roseville CA 2014 The Kinsey Institute Juried Art Show 2014. Grunwald Gallery of Art, Bloomington, IN 2014 The Armory Show. CCA Munoz-Waxman Gallery, Santa Fe, NM 2014 America’s Clayfest II. Blue Line Arts Gallery, Roseville, CA 2014 From the Earth. Tubac Center of the Arts, Tubac, AZ 2014 Functional Art. Larson Gallery, Yakima, WA 2014 27th Annual Women’s Works. The Old Courthouse Arts Center, Woodstock, IL 2014 Incarnate. Santa Fe Community Gallery, Santa Fe, NM 2013 Women in Art. Las Lagunas Gallery, Las Lagunas, CA 2013 FireWorks. The Exhibit Space, Santa Fe, NM 2013 We Who Are Clay. Fuller Art Center, Los Alamos, NM 2012 Anthro. GVG Gallery, Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 2012 Collect Ten. Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM
Recent Recognitions and Awards
2021 Jury. Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, Sculpture Category Judge. 2021 Gold Award, Sculpture Category. Infected by Art, Volume 9. 2021 Honorable Mention, Sculpture Category. Infected by Art, Volume 9. 2020 First Prize. Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize Yasha Young Projects Sculpture Division 2020 Second Place. 23rd San Angelo National Ceramic Competition. San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, TX 2020 Nominee, Best Three Dimensional Art: Chesley Award. Harrisburg, PA 2020 Finalist, Dimensional Division. Spectrum 27. Flesk Publications, San Jose, CA 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award. Northern Michigan University. Marquette, MI 2019 Silver Award: Sculpture Category. IBA, Volume 7. Art Order 2019 Jury. The Walter S. Baird Prize for Art and Literature. St. John’s College, Santa Fe, NM 2019 Jury. Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, Vol. 26. Flesk Publications, Santa Cruz, CA 2018 Finalist: Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize. Australia 2018 Nominee, Best Three-Dimensional Art: Chesley Award. Harrisburg, PA 2018 People’s Choice Award. 22nd National Ceramic Competition. San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, TX 2018 Jury. Infected by Art, Volume 6. Hermes Press 2017 Bronze Award. Mixed Media Category. Infected by Art, Volume 5. Hermes Press 2017 Invited Artist Residency. Buffalo Creek Art Center, Gardnerville, NV. 2017 Jury. The Spectrum Muse Rising Star Award. SFAL, Kansas City, KS 2016 Kiln God Residency Award. Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts. Newcastle, ME 2016 First Place. Refined IX. SFA Galleries, Nacogdoches, TX 2016 Jury. The Spectrum Muse Rising Star Award. The Spectrum Awards, New York City, NY 2015 Purchase Award. From the Ground Up. Las Cruces Museum of Art, Las Cruces, NM 2015 Finalist. Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics. Zanesville Museum of Fine Art, Zanesville, OH 2015 Honorable Mention: Sculpture. ARC International Salon Catalogue. Art Renewal Center 2015 Jury. The Spectrum Muse Rising Star Award. SFAL, Kansas City, KS 2015 Featured Artist. BBBS of New Mexico. Santa Fe, NM 2014 Silver Award: Dimensional Division. Spectrum 21. Flesk Publications 2014 Honorable Mention: Functional Art, Larson Gallery, Yakima, WA 2013 Best of Show: We Who Are Clay, Fuller Arts Center, Los Alamos, NM
Recent Publications and Reviews 2021 Todd Spoor and Bill Cox. Infected by Art, Volume 9. Neshannock, PA: Hermes Press, 2021 2020 "2020 Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize." Beautiful Bizarre Magazine. Issue 31, December 2020 2020 O'Hern, John. "Beyond the Surface." American Art Collector, Issue 181. November 2020 2020 Spectrum 26. San Jose, CA: Flesk Publications, November 2020 2019 "Artist vs. Artist." Beautiful Bizarre Magazine. Sydney, Australia, December 2019 2018 Boaventura, Pedro. Masters of Contemporary Fine Art. Art Galaxie, Ltd. 2018 2018 Bravo, Hugo. Vision Illustrated. November 2018 2018 Bradley, Sean. "A Meaningful Work of Art." Livingston Daily. November 2018. 2018 Shin Yeon Jeon. Monthly Ceramic Art. August 2018, Vol. 269. August 2018 2017 McLaughlin, Katy. "The Iconoclastic Homes of Top Artists." Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2017 2017 Merida-Paytes, Lisa. Reflections and Inspirations. Ceramics Ireland, Issue 39, 2017 2017 Townsend, Jan and Zettle-Sterling, Renee. CAST. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2017 2017 Todd Spoor and Bill Cox. Infected by Art, Volume 5. Neshannock, PA: Hermes Press, 2017 2017 Spectrum 24. San Jose, CA: Flesk Publications, November 2017 2016 2015/2016 ARC Salon Catalogue. Port Reading, NJ: Art Renewal Center, December 2016 2016 Shelley Selim, Jo Lauria, Ezra Shales. John Glick: A Legacy in Clay. Cranbrook Art Museum, MI 2016 Spectrum 23. San Jose, CA: Flesk Publications, November 2016 2016 Todd Spoor and Bill Cox. Infected by Art, Volume 4. Neshannock, PA: Hermes Press, 2016 2015 2014/2015 ARC Salon Catalogue. Port Reading, NJ: Art Renewal Center, December 2015 2015 Spectrum 22. San Jose, CA: Flesk Publications, November 2015 2015 Mclister, Iris. “Kristine Poole: ‘Epic’ at EVOKE Contemporary.” Art Ltd. Magazine. July 2015 2015 Lofaro, Jerry. “Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 4.” Airbrush Action Magazine. July 2015 2015 Fleskes, John. “The Spectrum Muse.” Fleskpublications.com/blog. May 2015 2015 “Sculptor Kristine Poole Gives New Meaning to the Words Body Language.”Steamfeed.com. April 2015 Fleskes, John. “Announcing the Spectrum Rising Star Award.” FleskPublications.com/blog. April 2015 2015 Carlson, Jeffrey. “Figure, Script, Message. Sculpture by Kristine Poole.” Fine Art Today. March 2015 2015 “Kinfolk: Plum Tree Pottery.” The Studio Potter. Vol. 43, No. 1, Winter/Spring 2015 2014 2013/2014 ARC Salon Catalogue. Port Reading, NJ: Art Renewal Center, 2014 2014 Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. San Jose, CA: Flesk Publications, 2014 2014 Bruckner, Tim. “The Sculptor’s Secret World, Part 7.” MuddyColors.blogspot.com. August 2014 2014 Identity: The Catalogue. New York City, NY: Gallery Nine5, May 2014 2014 Whitney-Ward, Cynthia. “Romancing the Clay.” ChasingSantaFe.blogspot.com. February 2014 2014 Smith, Nan. 500 Figures in Clay Volume 2. Asheville, NC: Lark Books, 2014 2013 “We Who Are Clay.” LAMonitor.com. March 2013 2005 “40 under 40.” New Mexico Business Weekly. Albuquerque, NM. June 2005
Recent Lectures and Presentations 2021 Monthly Contributor: Muddy Colors, A Fantastic Arts Community. 2021 The Business of Art, Interview for Institute of American Indian Arts 2020 Panel Talk Moderator: Surviving and Thriving as a Creative. LightBox Expo 2020 Panel Talk Moderator: Critters, Clays and Concepts. LightBox Expo 2020 Monthly Contributor: Muddy Colors, A Fantastic Arts Community. 2019 Lecture: “The Art of Creativity.” Northern Michigan University. Marquette, MI 2019 Presentation: “The Making of a Monument.” Art Santa Fe. Santa Fe, NM 2018 Artist Demonstration: National Sculpture Society, Plein Air Magazine’s PACE18. Santa Fe, NM 2018 Artist Talk: “Clay Stories.” David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA 2017 Lecture: “An Unfinished Conversation.” Albuquerque Museum of Art, Albuquerque, NM 2017 Lecture: “Plays Well With Others: The Art of Collaborative Art.” Goggleworks, Reading, PA 2017 Panelist: “Sculptor’s Round Table.” Goggleworks, Reading, PA 2017 Lecture: “Intertwined: The Art of Collaboration.” Spectrum Fantastic Art Live, Kansas City, KS 2015 Panelist: “From the Ground Up.” Las Cruces Museum of Art, Las Cruces, NM 2015 Workshop: Technique, Anatomy, Content: Sculpture as Vehicle. Santa Fe, NM 2015 Workshop: Large Scale Clay Sculpture. Santa Fe College, Santa Fe, NM 2015 Panelist: Flesk Publications, Spectrum 22 and Beyond, San Francisco, CA 2015 Workshop: Big and Little Interactions. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern NM 2014 Lecture: Artist Professional. Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe, NM 2014 Lecture: Ceramics - The Profession. Santa Fe Clay Club, Santa Fe, NM 2013 Lecture: Creatively Developing the Business Side of Your Creativity. Santa Fe Community College
Selected Public and Private Commissions
2021 "The Garden Party II: Wolf and Hyleena," Private collection. Portland, OR 2020 “Rakshasa,” Private collection. San Angelo, TX 2019 “Opening Band for the Sun,” Private collection. RI 2019 “Interactive sculptures,” Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NM 2018 “Zemp’s Legacy,” Bronze Public Art Commission. Howell District Carnegie Library, Howell, MI 2018 “Excellence in Graphic Literature,” Denver Comic Con/Pop Culture Classroom, Denver, CO 2018 “Aurora,” Fired clay sculpture, Steve and Lana Hardy, Buffalo Creek Art Center, Gardnerville, NV 2017 “Rising Star,” Bronze sculpture. Flesk Publications. San Jose, CA. 2017 “Daskala” Fired clay sculpture, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern NM, Santa Fe, NM 2016 “Lifetime Conservationist Achievement Bronzes,” NM Department of Game and Fish, Santa Fe, NM 2016 “Skyla: Allegory of Mentorship,” Fired clay sculpture, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern NM 2016 “Spectrum Muse,” Bronze sculptures. San Jose, CA. Flesk Publications 2015 “Songbirds,” Fired clay sculptures, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern NM 2015 “Spectrum Muse,” Bronze sculptures. San Jose, CA. Flesk Publications