Front Window Spotlight: Kerstin McKee

Kerstin McKee is our front window artist for May! Both Kerstin’s ceramics and paintings exhibit botanical influences, and in her paintings she combines those influences with sensual forms. We carry full bodies of both styles of her work in our gallery, and her candle holders may be just the gift you’re looking for this month.

You are a painter and a ceramicist. Which came first and what lead you to explore the second medium?

Painting came first and my second choice for a double major at Cornish College of the Arts was printmaking. It was in printmaking that I developed a fondness for the process of carving which is necessary in block printing. I took a class in ceramics at Kirkland Arts Center about 17 years ago and was instantly smitten with the medium. In terms of surface decoration of the clay, ceramics allowed me to incorporate many of the same techniques I had refined in my 2-dimensional work. Above all, it seems I love to carve!

In your Artist Statement, you say you “love working with the sensual-provocative imagery of nature.” Have you always been drawn to natural world from that perspective?

Yes, I have always been inspired by the organic, voluptuous forms and colors found in nature. As a kid I loved to paint and draw flowers. During my formal art education I was initially focused on drawing and painting the human figure. The Cornish curriculum drew heavily upon the classical approach to figure drawing. This was a time when we, as students, were encouraged to dig deep in order to find our individual purpose/meaning for our work. I decided to focus on the concept of ‘light on form’ in order to create strong visual drama for my subjects. These techniques of light and shadow enabled me to convey any feeling or mood even in the simplest of forms. Today, I enjoy taking great liberties in creating imagery that sometimes appears to be a blend of the botanical and the human. I believe that a vegetable, or a root, can appear as brooding and as sensual as the human body.

Your work as an artist is part of your spiritual practice. Is there a daily aspect to that practice?

I practice yoga and I love to meditate. For many years, I have been a student of various modalities of Energy Work. These teachings are accompanied by personal development. As an artist and energy practitioner I have discovered the value of looking inward. Having a spiritual practice better enables me to work intuitively. Being grounded and balanced creates a receptive state of mind. In this way, I can trust my creative process and know that ideas will flow to me.

As an artist who splits her time between the West Coast of the United States and the West Coast of Sweden, how does sense of place influence your approach to art?

My husband and I have been living in both countries, equally, for 30 years. I come from a large family. I have 5 siblings so having a home in each place is a blessing and I am extremely grateful.  At this point in my practice, there is no difference between the art I create here and the art I create in Sweden. However, people here in the States tell me they feel there is a Scandinavian influence in my art, and the people in Sweden claim to see an American influence in those same pieces! I think much of the inspiration and sensibility must have its roots in Swedish storybooks and folklore. As an adult I’m still visually drawn to the qualities of magic and fantasy in all its seductive glory.

What is the best creative advice you’ve ever received?

I’m still in touch with my art teacher from high school in Sweden. Her name is Gerd. She gave me some advice at a significant time in my development as an artist and we are still friends today. She told me, “Never let another’s opinion compromise your work.”

What is a piece of advice you would give to emerging artists about developing their voice and finding their creative identity?

I would give the same advice to a young artist. I would caution against rushing yourself. Allow yourself lots of time to develop. Don’t let even the well-meaning people restrict or define how you should work. That creative part of you can be fragile and once censured, it may not feel safe enough to communicate with you again for a while. Also, let yourself play with many different mediums and see if one grabs you more than the rest! Oh, and have fun!!

Story by Andrea Lewicki.


Spring Art Courses for 2017

New Courses Added! Defy the rain and soak yourself in art this spring.

Whether you’re looking for a Night Out or have your days free, we’ve got art courses for everyone. Are the Kids Going Stir Crazy? Are you a Serious Artist or just wanting to Dip Your Toe in the Art Pool? Have a look at our classes designed for your skill and interest level.

Adult Courses

Member Salon: Art to Fabric Transfer, 7-8:30pm Wednesday, June 7, $10 supply fee only
Ceramic Wheel Course, 3-week course Saturdays, May 6, 13 & 27, 6-9pm, $150/$160
Colored Pencil, Thursdays, 12-1:30pm, $100/$110 monthly
Encaustic Sculpture, Saturday & Sunday June 3 & 4, $265/$275
Figure Drawing, Mondays 9:30am-2pm, $10 drop-in only, email for calendar and more details
Photography Composition, 2-week course Saturdays, May 20 & June 3, 1-4pm $80/$85
Plein Air Picnic, Saturday, May 20, 12pm-4pm, $55/$60
Watercolor Birds, Saturday, May 13, 10am-12pm, $40/$45

Art Night Out

Creative Clay Night, fourth Fridays monthly, May 26, 6:30-9:30pm, $55/$60
Paint Night Out, Friday, May 19, 6:30-9:30pm, $60/$65
Print Night Out, Friday, June 9, 6:30-9:30pm, $50/$55

Youth Courses

Colored Pencil, Thursdays, 4:30-6pm, ages 11-17, $105/$115
Teen Illustration, Mondays, 4:30-6pm, ages 11-17, $110/$120
Youth Art Series
, Fridays, 4-5:30pm, ages 7-16, $110/$120
Youth Painting, Wednesdays, 4-5:30pm, ages 8-12, $110/$120

Art Camps for Youth & Teens

Youth & Teen Summer Camps
Nine weeks of summer art camps for ages 7-17

Family Art Time

Fenders with Dad, Sunday June 18, 11am-1pm, $15/$20

Soak up the art at artEAST this Spring! As always, if you don’t see what you’re looking for, please email us and we’ll try and connect you with the right instructor to suit your needs.


Rebecca Morrissey & everyone at artEAST in Issaquah


Current Exhibit Happenings


Join us for these current shows! Click on the exhibit title for more information.

2nd Amendment BookClub

March 15–May 28, 2017, artEAST
Opening Reception Saturday, April 8, 6–8pm
Coming Up! BookClub, Sunday May 21, 3–5 pm, with Jay Stansell
Artwork by Mary Coss

“Taking Off the Gloves” by Mary Coss

Adventure into Landscape

April 4–June 20, 2017, Blakely Hall
Opening Reception Wednesday, April 19, 6–7:30 pm

L-R: Britt Greenland, Diana Grant, John Tubbs


Thank you to our sponsors: the Issaquah Highlands Council, 4Culture, City of Issaquah, Protingent StaffingRowley Properties, Aero Safety Graphics, Shelter Holdings, Recology, Outside the Box Creation, Moon Motorcycles, and Bristlecone Advisors.



Summer Art Camps at artEAST 2017

DIVE INTO CREATIVITY THIS SUMMER with our Art Camps for kids & teens at artEAST in downtown Issaquah. Morning & afternoon camps available in a variety or art forms. See below for details and registration.

AM Camps run from 9am to noon, PM camps run from 1pm to 4pm.

June 26–30 (ages 11–17)
AM Printmaking Teen Camp Make your mark on the world by carving and printing your own creations
PM Mixed Media Teen Camp Explore the 2-D world of paint and color in this fun and creative mixed media summer camp

July 5–7 (ages 7-11)
AM Youth Comicbook Art Camp Gain the superpowers necessary to bring your imagination to life in the world of comics.
PM Anything but the Brush” Youth Camp Splat, smear, poke, rip, smush, dab, destroy and reconstruct your art any way you can without using a brush

July 10-14 (ages 8-14)
AM & PM Recycled Artist in Residence Camp Junior artists will assist the Friends of Lake Sammamish and artEAST Artist in Residence in creating a 2-week installation piece for Lake Sammamish State park using upcycled and repurposed supplies for this one-of-kind art week.

July 17-21 (ages 11-17)
AM Teen Illustration Camp If you want to exemplify a concept, make an idea visible, or better understand it, Illustration is the right camp for you.
PM Anything but the Brush” Teen Camp Splat, smear, poke, rip, smush, dab, destroy and reconstruct your art any way you can without using a brush.

July 24-28 (ages 11-17) 
AM Teen Ceramics Camp Learn techniques to create clean works of hand built art from clay.
PM Teen Multi-Media Drawing Camp is the core of any 2-D artist’s ability. Spend the week drawing in various media expanding and honing your innate drawing skills. Includes a special trip to Issaquah’s Chalk Art Festival.

July 31-Aug 4 (ages 7-11)
AM Youth Drawing Camp Learn the elements of drawing in this camp designed to bring out the creative artist in everyone.
PM Messy Kids Paint Camp Art is messy and fun in this hands on paint camp. Includes a trip to the Issaquah Community Center for Issaquah’s annual Splash Day.

Aug 7-11 (ages 7-11)
AM Mixed Media Youth Camp Create 3-D art with multiple media, including ceramics, papier-mâché and more.
PM Color Pencil Youth Drawing Camp Feel the joy as you learn to draw what you see with colored pencils.

Aug 14-18(ages 11-17)
AM Colored Pencil Teen Drawing Camp Feel the joy as you learn to draw what you see with colored pencils.
PM Teen Photography Camp Learn to make artful digital photographs. Light, exposure and focal point will be covered while by taking and printing your own photos every day.

Aug 21-25(ages 11-17)
AM Creative Illustration Teen Camp Become an illustrator of your own stories and see where your imagination takes you.
PM Teen Mask Making Camp Explore the world around you & use it to create your own paper mache animal mask.

Registration now open for nine weeks of Art Camps at artEAST.
Delve into these week long art camps and embrace a deeper love for art this summer.
All camps are $120/members and $130/nonmembers, $30 optional lunch bunch available between camps (waived if enrolling in both AM & PM camps) Space is limited so please register early.

Register Here

Each student needs to wear studio appropriate clothing. Please bring a nut-free snack and labeled water bottle to each class. If registering for both AM & PM Camps, be sure to bring your lunch. MEALS NOT PROVIDED

All Levels/Ages 7-11 or 11-17
Min/Max: 6/12 per camp
Note: Workshops with less than minimum enrollment may be cancelled one week prior to start date.
Location: ArtEAST Art Center 95 Front Street N. in Issaquah

artEAST is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization whose vision is to be a catalyst for a vibrant and enduring visual arts community. Thanks to generous grants by the City of Issaquah, Robert B. McMillen Foundation and an anonymous grantor, artEAST is able to offer our summer camps for kids without a supply or processing fee. artEAST is a proud supporter of art in our schools through the Issaquah School art docent programs as well as presenting multiple free community events throughout the year, including Art Walks, Parkadilly, Salmon Days, Highlands Day, the Sammamish 55+ Program and more.



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