5 Questions with Artist Kristi Abbott

Local artist Kristi Abbott will be the featured artist at the Edina Art Fair, for her award-winning mixed media collage, “Cassidy.” The Australia – turned – St. Paul artist evokes a sense of glamour and sensuality in her pinup-inspired collages. The work of over 300 artists will be displayed from June 5–7 on the charming streets of 50th and France in Edina.

  1. You’re from Australia—what drew you to Minnesota, and why did you stay? Which place inspires you more in your artwork?

My father was born and raised in St. Paul. He left to go to college at Brown and then to Vietnam.After meeting an Aussie in his platoon, he decided to travel to Australia, where he received an MBA and met my mother. I have spent my whole life traveling between Sydney and Minnesota, until three years ago when I decided to move here.

Lots of things keep me here—my Minnesotan family, my dog, my boyfriend, and the weather—well, maybe not the weather! Although I definitely have been inspired by the change of seasons here, and it has given rise to one of my latest series—Minnesota Moments, which tries to capture moments from my walks out in the local environment.

  1. When did you make the switch to pursuing art full-time? Has it always been a passion? What did you do before that, if anything?

Art has always been a passion of mine. When I was little, maybe four or five, I remember thinking, ‘When I grow up, I want to be an artist, an actress, or an author.’” I have enjoyed dabbling in all three over the years, but when I decided to leave my corporate position as a general manager of a training and development business a few years ago, it was art that called to me.

  1. What is your preferred medium for art? Why?

Over the last year and a half, I have started working primarily in paper. I love it! I can achieve such variation in color, texture and pattern. I am definitely inspired by Pop Art and the flat color fields they were able to achieve with screen-printing. With paper, I am able to achieve that same flat surface while incorporating multiple layers, textures, and perhaps even some printed imagery.

  1. What was your inspiration for the piece?

I love pinups from all eras and think they showcase women in a beautiful, sexy, and playful way. I started working on a pinup series and “Cassidy” was the second one that I did. She was inspired by several things—photographs I found of both classic and modern pin-ups, my mother when she was younger, Hollywood actresses from the silver screen, and street art.

  1. After the show, what project will you be taking on next?

I am doing about six fairs over the summer, so I will probably be working hard on getting ready for the next one! I’m also taking suggestions for my Pop Icon series, so if anyone has any ideas of who they’d like to see, let me know!