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Q&A With Kelsey Overstreet


Q&A With Kelsey Overstreet

In her solo show, “The Way We Move”, artist Kelsey Overstreet draws inspiration from her environment, and speaks to human experience through exploration of movement in her abstract expressionist works. We asked the artist a few questions to learn more about her process, creative expression, and what she hopes for the future of art.

Sparks: What inspires your work?

Overstreet: It is difficult to pinpoint concrete inspiration for my work.  I do know that I hold mental space for how we process being a human in the world today and this gives me endless material to navigate via paint. Movement is a huge part of my “research” and walking has aided in my conceptual and visual wanderings. I am really interested in what we take in both subconsciously and consciously… how that information shows up in our work. It’s a wonderful practice full of fluid curiosity, questions and problem solving.

Sparks: What do you hope to achieve with your work? 

Overstreet: My painting practice is a magical space where I am constantly challenged and discovering new things both about the world around me, the material I use and the problems I solve to complete a painting. This process is incredibly grounding for me. My very basic hope is that people take the time to engage with the work and also leave feeling a little more alive, present and whole. 

Sparks: What methods/mediums do you use in your work?

Overstreet: I use acrylic on canvas. I bounce back and forth between primed and unprimed canvas. I use a lot of non-traditional methods and incorporate spray paint, oil sticks, pencil and charcoal as well.

Sparks: How do you see your artwork transitioning over time, and down the line? 

Overstreet: I think the unknown of how it will transition is what keeps me coming back to the studio. A wonderful mystery.

Sparks: What is the most important advice you would want to share with young, aspiring artists?

Overstreet: If art chooses you then it’s your duty to keep showing up. Ask hard questions, pursue what you love and don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process.

Sparks: What music do you listen to when creating artwork?

Overstreet: I painted in silence for most of my painting career. During the pandemic I started listening to ambient music with my AirPods. The noise canceling + mellow music created a wonderful cocoon to work within. One song in constant rotation is Enter One by Sol Seppy.

Sparks: What do you hope for the future of art?

Overstreet: As devices continue to take over I hope for a deeper appreciation of seeing art in person, funding for art in schools and inclusivity for under represented artists around the world.