Visiting Artist: Kat Knutsen (2011)

Alumna Kat Knutsen (Class of 2011) returns to UNC Asheville

Kat will be on campus April 25-26 to talk about her art in two public venues and several group and individual student critiques. Join Kat on April 26, in Rhoades-Robinson 125, beginning at 6:00 p.m., for a screening of the award-winning film, Loving Vincent (Kat was one of the animators for the film). Following the viewing Kat will answer audience questions. Professor Robert Tynes will introduce Kat and will be the moderator for the Q&A 

On April 26, Kat will discuss her work in a Lunchtime Talk in Owen Hall 237, 12:00-1:00 p.m. Both of these events are free and open to the public.

Kat will be working with students in groups as well as offering one-on-one critiques to students on Wednesday and Thursday--if interested in working with Kat, contact professor Suzanne Dittenber.

Kat was one of 125 applicants selected from a few more than 4,000  artists worldwide to work on the feature film Loving Vincent, which was well-received in European venues: it was nominated for several and won a few European awards: it was nominated for a British Academy Film Award and won awards in Poland and Italy among others. It was also nominated for an American Academy Award for Best Animation. [Read More about the film]

Currently, Kat teaches Computer Graphics, Digital Photography, Painting, Two-Dimensional Design (along with Painting, Fiber Art, Drawing, and Figure Drawing in previous semesters) at Bristol Community College, Fall River, Massachusetts.

Funding for Kat's visit is provided by the Dean of Humanities and Academic Affairs.

About Kat Knutsen
Katherine (Kat) Knutsen was born in 1984 in Austin, Texas, to a second generation Mexican-American mother and Alaskan Native father. Kat was introduced to the arts in her early twenties at a community college in Charlotte, North Carolina. She not only found her passion for the fine arts, but also decided to build her career towards engaging her community through visual art.

Kat earned her BFA at the University of North Carolina Asheville (Class of 2011), where she became inspired by the dynamics of interdisciplinary research. This would later heavily influence her studio practice towards becoming more multidisciplinary. After finishing her MFA at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2014, Kat began working simultaneously with painting, next to fashion design, installation, art publication, and animation. Her work began to focus more on finding a pattern within her approaches to learning new media and also integrating techniques and materials. This cross-pollination is what led to her to becoming one of the selected 125 animators to work on the Oscar-nominated film Loving Vincent. Loving Vincent was created by combining oil-on-canvas portrait painting with stop-motion animation.

Kat received the invitation to work on Loving Vincent shortly after finishing her first fashion runway event at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, an event that followed a solo exhibition of sculpture installation at Bridgewater University in addition to a solo painting exhibit.

There is an evolving quality in her work regarding material and delivery. “As I am in the middle of a piece, I’m often inspired to explore a similar concept or element through a different means. I’ll wonder, 'How would this idea be experienced if it was wearable, time-based, illustrated, animated, or documented?'” Her process often involves briefly leaving a project midway to explore other materials, and later returning with a better execution plan. For example, an animated piece might hold the key to resolving a painting, or a wearable fashion piece could resonate better as a community engaging documentary. “There is a peripheral aspect to my work in that I try to consider if certain materials and techniques jive better with the idea than the initial materials.”

A lot of Knutsen’s studio processes are also inspired by wanting to share new ideas with her students and the community. “I always want to have fresh material to give my students. I encourage them to not only be able to understand design, but to also mix up different media techniques along with developing their craftsmanship.”

“I’m a painter at heart, so every concept is initially drafted on a two-dimensional surface with color, gestalt, and design in mind. Sometimes though, the idea is better realized through another channel. Other times the concept resonates better as it is with a painterly gesture.”

Visit her webpage to learn more about her exhibitions and projects. See images at Instagram and Facebook. Kat has published a couple of issues of new art journal Sirens.

Several interviews and articles of interest are listed below. 

April 18, 2016