Art@BTI: Artist Interview with Christina Coleman

by | Aug 3, 2016

Christina Coleman Sculpture

Image: detail of untitled (i.) by Christina Coleman


Here at BTI we like to grace our walls with temporary exhibits by regional artists. Talented artists are invited to showcase their works for the enjoyment and enrichment of the BTI community and their visitors. Art, like science, is an endeavor that encourages discovery and inspires creativity. We think this is a perfect reason to host exhibits at the institute! Please join us on September 29, 2016 at 5:00 pm for an art and science program celebrating this exhibit.

The program is curated and coordinated by Development and Communications staff. Please be in touch with Kitty Gifford if you have any questions or suggestions.

What are you currently working on?

I just wrapped these pieces up.  This series is most likely finished (I created 160 ‘specimen jars’ on 10 pieces of barn wood- I really like repetition!!) but I know I get restless when I am not actively working, while my innards are churning and devising what’s next, and thus my eyes and ears will remain open to more gorgeous pieces of barn wood or dried flora that call my name. 

Outside of my personal work, I co-run Art Club– a local arts organization that creates spaces for the community to play, explore and ignite the creative essence in each of us. We just finished our second public performance of an interactive, immersive and improvisational theater experiment.  I feel a personal mission to help make art available to everyone, without financial or material boundaries and without judgment of its product.  Art with a lower case ‘a’ for everyone!
How is this different from past projects?
I see each project as an extension or appendage of each other- one leads to and flows into the next.

How did you decide to become an artist?

My mother is a writer and I would invent characters and illustrate her children’s stories when I was wee.  My family boarded a local university student.  He was an actor and dancer and so dynamic and large.  I wanted to be him!  I watched the TV show Fame and ached for the life of the artist in NYC (of any discipline).  Finally, in 9th grade, I met ‘my’ teacher, the life changing teacher, Mrs. Corgel, in the art rooms and that was that.  Innate abilities and the right others to step in and notice and nurture and entice.

How do you market yourself? Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?

I accept I will never earn a living as an artist.  It’s not in my nature (or comfort level) to schmooze and boldly step in and ‘sell myself’/my work.  I rely on organic meetings and wandering upon unorthodox spaces to display my work.  In the end, I believe the stars ‘have to be aligned’ for a body of work to sell well.  The current zeitgeist meets your focus and expressive needs meets the appropriate venues meets folks pocket books heavy enough and willing–so many factors have to line up.  I have sold 80% of a body of work and the next series sold 2%.  I always put the process before the product. 

About Christina Coleman

Christina Coleman grew up on a small gentleman’s farm in upstate NY. She found a little peace of mind in the ponds and with the cows, drawing creatures for her mother’s children books, and building nooks in the walls to be alone in.  Her early pivotal artistic influences include the TV shows Fame and Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and seeing the film Purple Rain while sitting on her mother’s lap in a jam-packed theater at age 11.  She believes, above all else, in the magnificent, egoless zone and silence found while creating art.

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