Crystal Kingston’s Artist Statement
After an emphasis on painting in art school at Queens College during the ’80s, I supplemented my education by completing a 300-hour desktop publishing course. From there, I was able to transition my visual art skills into what was the emerging field we now call “digital media.” After working for years in the Big Apple as a graphic designer, I left my career in the city to return to my Montana roots, in order to rekindle my relationship with the mountains and rivers of my youth.
In 1999, my artist partner and I purchased an abandoned hundred-year old stone building on the Salish Kootenai Reservation, channeling our creativity into a long-term restoration project. For a number of years, we served our local community as a meeting hall, restaurant and pub, with music on weekends and monthly rotating art exhibits. We closed our doors in 2006 in order to focus on making art.
Since then, while still using traditional painting materials and techniques, I have worked to integrate my painting skills further into the mediums of photography, digital image manipulation and animation. I became a full time art student again in 2010, with media arts as my focus. I had the honor of receiving two scholarships, and am one math class away from graduating. I currently paint full-time in the studio, and am a coach for the nationally recognized Montana Arts Council Artrepreneurship Program, which helps artists market their work.
These combined efforts continually broaden my perceptions of what being an artist means to me. Overall, they represent the challenge of synthesizing not only the different mediums I use, but also my life experience into images. that convey the essence of life in Montana; in particular the love I have for the land and the creatures we share it with. Merging line, pixels, cobalt and Photoshop, my art strives to elicit reflection upon how we are connected to each other through the natural world.
My work may be seen on my website: www.wildplumstudio.com/blog, or by appointment at the Wild Plum Studio in Dixon.
University of Montana, MT, Media Arts Major, 2010–2014, Dean’s List
Queens College, Flushing, NY, Fine Art Major, Textile Minor, 1984–1988, Dean’s List Paris Vlll, San Denis, France, CUNY Exchange Program, Spring 1986
Printing Trades School, New York, NY, Fall 1988
Union Hall, Missoula, MT, December 2013
Union Hall, Missoula, MT, December 2010
The Loft, Missoula, MT, November 2010
Sandpiper Gallery, Polson, MT, September 2005
Butterfly Herb Store, Missoula, MT, Solo Show, June 1999
Exhibitions & Selected Publications:
Radius Gallery, Missoula, MT, November–December 2014
Hockaday Art Museum, Kalispell, Innovators’ Show, May–June 2014
Hangin’ Art Gallery, Arlee, MT, 2010–Current
Media Arts Building, University of Montana, 2011–2013
Samarah Gallery, Whitefish, MT, 2007–2009
The Art Factory, Las Vegas, NV, November & December 2007
Sandpiper Gallery, Polson, MT, October 2005
We’Moon Calendar, Month of May in”On-the-Wall” Calendar; additional piece in spiral-bound edition, 2005 Isis Studio & Fine Art Gallery, Dixon, MT, 2003–2006, Owner and Curator
Yellowstone Museum Auction, Billings, MT, November 2001, 2002 & 2003
The Knead Café, Kalispell, MT, “Three Women Painters,” May 2000
Hot Springs Artists’ Society Benefit Art Show, Missoula, MT, May 1999, Curator
Symes Hotel, Hot Springs, MT, February–December 1999
Ulster County Artists’ Association, Kingston, NY, November 1989–February 1990
Woodstock Gallery, Woodstock, NY, October 1989
St Benedictine Hospital Benefit Auction, Rhinebeck, NY, August 1989
AT&T Landscape Exhibition, New York, NY, May–July 1989
Queens College Gallery, Flushing, NY, May 1988
Memberships & Associations:
Montana Artrepreneurship Program Coach, Certification in Process
Killdeer Artisans’ Guild, Arlee, MT, 2010–Current, Board of Directors 2012–13