Kitty Barrett-Kraai

Monday, May 1 to Monday, August 21, 2023

Experimental artist Kitty Barret-Kraai creates colorful mixed media pieces inspired by the human body. Often using recycled and reused materials, she thrives on the challenge and unpredictability of these materials. Kitty’s artwork will be on display at the Antioch branch until August 21, 2023. 


What comes first — the medium or the message? Tell me a little about the work that will be on view. 

Both. Sometimes I sit down with an idea, and I know what I want to do. Other times I just pick up some paints, or some cool recycled bits and get inspired to make something. In this collection I was playing with a lot of ideas about the human body, the connection between brain and heart, what makes our bodies beautiful in all the shapes that have (including inside shapes.) With some pieces starting out with random paint splatters, and some having been sketched out first. 


How is your personality reflected in your work? 

This is a hard question, but a good one! I would describe myself as a colorful individual who doesn't fit into any "rules." I think my art embodies that energy. Free and maybe a bit unhinged, at the end of the day still a wonderful experience. 


Painted portrait with large eyes inside of heart shapes.


Is there any creative process you look forward to experimenting with? 

Right now, I am having a lot of fun playing with watercolor, I've never really done that before. Who knows what tools and tricks I will learn in the future. 


Who or what are your main artistic influences? 

I feel like inspiration comes from so many places, people or things. I once got inspired by a shimmery dollar store tablecloth, reminded me of mermaids and space. That's turned into a whole obsession of putting water creatures in outer space. 

 Some local artists that inspire me are:  

Jai Blu with @creativitysparks 

Tara Dunbar with @strangeartkc101  

Nat Reese 

Kat Hunter with @wastedlandapperal 

(All of those being on Instagram) 


What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio? 

I don't think I have one tool that is special to me. I like to use all sorts of things in everything I do and most of it is recycled or reused materials. I almost enjoy it more when I am forced to use materials and tools that are unfamiliar to me. 


Please list 5-10 books, movies and/or music that currently inspire you. 

Princess Bride by William Goldman (book and movie

Theo Cry (music) 

Incubus (music) 

The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld (book) 

Zee Underscore (music) 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstein (book) 

I could keep going, but I think these are top right now.