The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has named Krista Schoening as the new Windgate Representational Painter Artist-in-Residence.
“I am thrilled to join UA Little Rock as a Windgate Artist-in-Residence,” Schoening said. “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to teach and make work as part of a dynamic department made up of dedicated and talented people. One of the unique aspects of this residency is the way that students will be able to learn from me both in the classroom and in my studio, where I will be working on a daily basis.”
In the new position, Schoening will teach two courses per semester while maintaining a robust studio practice. She will also be responsible for mentoring art and design students concentrating in painting and building community programming in painting.
“The Windgate Artist-in-Residence position is a great addition to our painting program that allows students to work closely with an active, professional artist,” said Thomas Clifton, chair of the Department of Art and Design. “Krista’s exemplary work in contemporary representational painting will be a fantastic addition to our department’s skill set.”
A native of Rockford, Illinois, Schoening comes to Little Rock from Seattle, where she served as a drawing and painting instructor at Olympic College. She earned bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and Spanish from University of Notre Dame and a Master of Fine Arts in painting and drawing and Master of Arts in art history from University of Washington.
A long time painter, Schoening said she once seriously considered a career in anthropology before dedicating herself to a career in art and education.
“I have always loved painting and drawing, and even before dedicating myself fully to the arts I spent a lot of free time painting,” she said. “For a while, I was in graduate school working towards a Ph.D. in anthropology, but, at a certain point, I realized that the paintings I was making in my free time were the most satisfying thing in my life at that moment. At that point, I made a choice to refocus on art, and I have not regretted it. Painting offers me the opportunity for academic engagement, in the form of art historical research, but is also a great outlet for creativity, practical and material knowledge, and the physicality of making things.”
Schoening has previously taught at University of Washington and Studio Escalier in France. Her artwork is represented by Shift Gallery in Seattle, while her research focuses on contemporary art and early modern Italian art. Schoening’s 2019 thesis looked at Jacopo Ligozzi’s use of formal and conceptual strategies derived from the fine arts in his botanical studies for the Medici. She describes this as a period example of how the arts were used to promote science by contributing affective content to scientific imagery.
Schoening’s work has been shown in private and public venues including the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Susquehanna Art Museum, and the Henry Art Gallery.
“My work draws from art history and uses the ideas and imagery of previous eras to reflect upon the world we live in today,” Schoening said. “It seems to me that through the arts humanity is having a very long conversation with itself, unfolding over centuries, and I see this work as contributing to that. Much of my work focuses specifically on still life and botanical subject matter, which I paint from observation. My goal with my botanical work is to achieve a fresh image that will provoke the viewer into having a new experience of the plant depicted.”