In this Interview with an Artist I had the pleasure reconnecting with Allison Krumwiede to talk about her current practice. She recently graduated from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena and will show the best of her undergraduate work at the dA Center for the Arts during the month of January.
dA: You have been invested with the dA for quite some time; we met when we were both teaching for the Artlink program, an after school art program for at-risk youth, several years ago. How did you become involved with the dA in the first place? How did you come to have your own exhibition for the month of January?
Allison Krumwiede: I became involved with the dA through a family friend who knew Marci Swett and Shelli Weldon. Marci put me in my very first show back in 2007 and Shelli got me involved in the Artlink program, and both opportunities were great for me and ever since I’ve always had place in my heart for the dA.
Over the next few years, I kept in contact with Marci and with me graduating from Art Center, I (okay, AND my mom…) proposed a show to her, even if it was for a couple days, where I would display my best work from over the years while I was getting my BFA.
It was definitely an awesome day when I got the call from Marci saying I was going to be in the Joan Weldon Gallery during January! It was a proud moment since I knew Marci got me in my first show and now she got me my first show!
dA: I think you are almost done if not done studying at the Pasadena Art Center of College and Design (is that the correct name?) did your choice to attend have anything to do with the type of art you were interested in pursuing or vice versa?
AK: Oh heck yeah I’m done! And no worries, I get “The Pasadena Art Institute” and “The Art Academy of Pasadena”, but yeah it’s Art Center College of Design.
I wanted to go to Art Center because illustration was the only major that made sense to me and Art Center has one of the best illustration programs, so there was no question, I was going to this school. I was able to make work based off the things I love and grew up with plus the department, run by the fabulous Ann Field, was such an amazing group of supporters and friends.
Plus there are so many working professionals who teach at Art Center like Rob and Christian Clayton, Mark Todd, Esther Pearl Watson, Aaron Smith, Paul Rogers, Jeffrey Smith, Noah Woods/Steve Turk, to name a few, and having been taught by such talents definitely pushed me to work harder and keep making work I loved to make.
dA: How has your practice changed/matured?
AK: I’ve loosened up a lot…I used to render the bejesus out of paintings…and then I realized you can still have a likeness without having to blend skin tones to death. I also picked up embroidery and started using my sewing machine for more things than hemming pants. Making zines is also a huge love for me, allowing me to go to APE last October and also LA Zine Fest in February.
dA: You tend to create work that has a lot to do with 80s and 90s pop culture, why are you drawn to this?
AK: Because those decades were so awkward yet so awesome. I wasn’t alive long enough in the 80’s to really comprehend what was going on, so as I got older and realized so many great movies, music, and events happened during those 10 years, I had to get obsessed. The ’90s is more of a nostalgic time for me, that was my youth and living through such a decade that supplied my generation with movies likes “Clueless” and “The Craft”, as well as albums like Nirvana’s “Nevermind” and Jeff Buckley’s “Grace”, I feel like I grew up in an awesome time. My childhood was cell phone free, internet free, and full of jelly shoes, Hanson, and TGIF. I use my artwork as a way to comment on those decades. They were fun, colorful, and contained River Phoenix.
dA: What are your plans post graduation? Do you have any other shows lined up?
AK: I just did the Post-It Show over at Giant Robot and I also sent a bunch of promos for any hopeful editorial work. I don’t have any more shows lined up yet, but of course I would love to have more in the near future!
Don’t miss Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know opening this Saturday at the dA: