Friday, September 27, 2013

Working Tiny in Tiny Spaces.

Coming up soon, October 5th to be exact, the Garden Valley Center for the Arts will be exhibiting my work, along side of George Gledhill, a potter from Payette, Idaho. His works are so earthy and balanced, well defined and exquisite! I am excited to pair my paintings and assemblage pieces with his work. I haven't had much opportunity to show the assemblage due to their fragile nature. It should make for a truly earthy exhibition! 

I was born and raised in Idaho, in a small town on a quaint farm. I am always looking at the ground and picking things up. As a child, gifted with terrible eyesight, to see much of anything I had to hold it really close to my eyes. I enjoyed the details up close and personal, each line, every texture, and of course, color. When it came to my attention that I wasn't seeing the way others were (aka - the chalkboard in first grade) a cute pair of tiny little pink glasses with thick lenses were introduced, and everything took on a whole new life, with sharp lines, ridges, and definition. Literally, albeit not peripherally.

My workspace is (gorgeously) cluttered with remains of plant and animal, rocks of textural interest, seeds, feathers and pods - tiny works of art in their own right - that find new homes in sheltered boxes.  My own little curios, wonders. They are personal, and each has it's own story of where or when it was discovered, or who left what on my porch. 

The first assemblage I made was in 2010, (after 3 days roaming around in the Seven Devils wilderness), to celebrate 3 years of adventures with the mister. Representative of our time together - foraging, homesteading, run-ins with critters (Danger!), exploring, rockhounding, freedom, love and fleeting time, with respect to the past.

©2012 Lauren T Kistner. All Rights Reserved.
"Oh, the Places We Will Go!"
Collection of the Mister

From there it was an easy transition into creating new worlds for lost and forgotten items.

©2012 Lauren T Kistner. Light at the End of the Tunnel. Found object Vanitas Assemblage.
"Light at the End of the Tunnel"
gopher trap, gopher skull, poppy tops, poppy seeds, dill, chicken feathers, old animal medicine bottles
Artist's Collection
This trap belonged to my grandfather.  He has poked gophers for many, many, years. I remember collecting gopher tails with him and turning them in for 50 cents each, and then grandpa would take us girls out to the Arctic Circle for ice cream on the proceeds. I think I still have a tail in an envelope in my childhood dresser. Probably quite gross by now, if there is anything left. Anyway, he has plenty of these traps around the farm, and it wasn't until I promised him that I would make art out of it that he sent it home with me.

This particular kind of gopher trap has a hole (hidden under the skull in the image) and is inserted into the gopher tunnel hole side up. When the gopher sees light coming into his home, he comes up to fill it in, hits the rod in the middle (the "vase" is in) and it snaps the trap. Hence, he goes for the light at the end of the tunnel, and then he...... finds the light at the end of the tunnel... 

On that note - I will now present a picture of our Frye kitten with his stolen dinner plate prize, circa 2008.

©2008 Lauren T Kistner. All Rights Reserved.

Aww, isn't he adorable? 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Nampa Idaho's burgeoning Art Scene!

4 new Nampa "Paint the Box" Utility Box Public Art (that's a mouthful) pieces were part of the Nampa First Friday Artwalk event last week. Each Artist applied their signature style to represent the city for this project, and the results are a fabulous addition to a growing city!

Melissa Chambers 
Melissa Chambers is a detail oriented sort of gal (it's epic, for sure), and her traffic box really stands out on this corner. Every little curio in the cabinet is ornately decorated and exploding with color! The original artwork is watercolor.
Treat yourself by viewing her website -

Belinda Isley
Belinda Isley has a knack for history, and will keep your attention with her traffic box! Her work brings captivating new life to images of yesteryear, encapsulating a unique story. See for yourself -

Rachel Teannalach
Rachel Teannalach is capable of many things when it comes to art; conveying a place, a warmth, and a deep appreciation for her surroundings through explorations of nature and structure, her vivid images draw the viewer in.
To get lost in her work, visit

Prior to facelift
Make Over Complete!
"Open Invitation"

In honor of Nampa's rich cultural history, and the location of the box residing in the heart of downtown, (a historical gathering place, then and now) I created "Open Invitation" as a colorful celebration of the city. 

More "Paint the Box" projects are scheduled for Nampa; I am excited to see the personal touch the artists will bring to the streets through the unique applications of their visions. 

A notable worthy cause to help Nampa, Idaho grow culturally - 

The historic Pix Theatre was on the path to becoming reborn as a multi use artistic venue until the power of a recent storm (quite rudley) caved the roof in, damaging the interior and prior work. Those interested in volunteering or donating to the project can find more information by visiting
Enjoy your day, and Thank You for supporting the Arts!