Artist’s Spotlight: Kiersten Remster

By: Chey Ward – Freshman, English

Kiersten Remster, a senior art history major at the University of Dayton, recently shared her personal artistic inspirations, as well as her thoughts on the importance of art in today’s society through a discussion about her recent piece, ‘Untitled.’

According to Remster, UD brought out a revival of creative energy within her. From the vibrant  community of Art Street to the constant push for artistic collaboration in all departments, the university has pushed her to become a more well rounded artist.

Specifically, Remster mentioned that the faculty which makes up the art department drives her to constantly push herself to new levels artistically. “The faculty here at UD made me feel like this was where I needed to be,” she commented.  

Aside from pulling inspiration from the Dayton community, Remster’s style is also influenced by the field of abstract art. She explains that she enjoys creating and studying this form of art because, though it may seem basic or confusing at first glance, the artist is actually creating a complex story out of the vague simplicity.

Remster explained that one of her biggest models is Jackson Pollock, a painter and influential figure in the abstract expressionist movement, who was known for his abstract drip paintings.

Remster’s work is no exception to this idea. When asked about the message she was trying to portray with her artwork, she said, “How something comes to be is where the real message is found.” She really wants people to understand and appreciate the process that an artist goes through to get to that final product.

Artistic mediums are an important part of any artist’s identity. The medium that Remster enjoys using the most is string, due to its ability to be easily manipulated. Remster’s medium of choice is unique and definitive of her artistic style.

After discussing her uncommon choice of artistic medium, Remster brought to light some of the artistic processes that she uses to create her pieces. The most fascinating technique that she explained was the one that she used to make her work, ‘Untitled.’  

The piece, which upon first glance looks like a painting, is actually a photograph that Remster developed through a process called photogramming.  

Photogramming involves taking an object in Remster’s case, string, and dipping it in developer fluid. Next, Remster explains that she places the soaked object on photo paper and applies pressure to create the splatters and smears that one can see in the piece.

Finally, she exposes the unfinished product to light.  Learning the way that Remster created her piece allows one to see it in a completely different light and really appreciate the small details and nuances of ‘Untitled.’  

Remster discussed big picture topics such as the relationship between art and society today. She explained the impact that social media has had on viewers of artwork, as well as on the artists themselves.

Due to the fact that we have mediums like social media, art has become much more accessible in recent years. People don’t even need to leave their home in order to experience amazing and powerful artistic pieces.  

Remster recognized all of the positive ways that modern society has made art more accessible, however, conceded that “face to face communication between an artist and a viewer is important to the understanding of a piece.”  Accessing artwork via social media platforms runs the risk of obscuring the direct intentions of artists.

‘Untitled’ will be on display Apr. 4, 2017 at the Schuster Center for the Celebration of the Arts event. Tickets are required for admission, but free for students, faculty and staff at the KU box office.

Photo courtesy of Kiersten Remster