Karryn Cristi’s dream of becoming a full-fledged artist became a reality when she displayed her art at a local cafe.
“I’ve been told so many times to just be a nurse, and that my art should be a hobby that I do on the side. I will do whatever I am motivated to do with my art,” said Cristi, a fine arts major at Hudson Valley.
“If you know you are going into something hard, it shouldn’t discourage you. Let it motivate you to believe in yourself, and pursue your dream to its fullest,” said Cristi.
Eden Cafe offers a commission free program to artists. According to Eden Cafe’s manager, Joe Ventura, artists aren’t typically organized and the program helps to teach artists to market and promote themselves.
“The program helps both us and the artist,” said Ventura. In return for displaying an artist’s work for a month the artist brings a variety of people who would have never otherwise attended the cafe.
Ventura hates to compare art, but he said that Christie’s art is easily in the top 10% of the artists that the cafe has ever hosted. “The cafe is really hosting people who are still honing their craft, but Cristi’s work is New York City ready art.”
Cristi arrived at the cafe 20 minutes late with her newest painting ‘Within, Without.’
Chisti said that the painting was about emotions. “In one hand the woman is clutching a grapefruit so tightly all of the juice is leaking out of it. People have to give so much of themselves all the time,” she said.
The grapefruit in the woman’s stomach was supposed to show that people can keep taking from within themselves and it won’t run out. In her left hand the women holds a rose. It represents the beauty that comes from all that people give.
The woman also has clouds covering her eyes. Cristi said this was initially inspired by Elton John’s song, ‘Daniel.’ Her inspiration was not the only reason she hid the woman’s eyes.
“Eyes are what we use to determine identity. The clouds were placed in front of her eyes because I wanted the people be able to relate to her,” said Cristi.
Cristi did not want her audience to look at the painting, and wonder who the woman was or what she was doing. She wanted her audience to put themselves in the painting and wonder what they are doing.
Cristi’s love for art was initially fueled by the praise she received for it when she was young. When she grew older, everything changed. “The more I realized that I could use my art to say something, the more I realized how powerful art was.”
Cristi finds inspiration everywhere. She believes art is a facet to figure things out in life. Cristi’s inspiration is primarily based on her emotions and her handling of them.
“I decided to be a fine art’s major because art is my passion. When I was in grade school nothing besides art ever really interested me. I decided that I was not going to pay to go to school for something that I didn’t love,” said Cristi.
When Cristi walked into her first class at Hudson Valley, she was very confident in her skills as an artist. Her professor, Thomas Lail, said that her class would spend the first month of the class drawing paper. Initially, Cristi thought this was ridiculously easy. However, when she tried to draw it she realized she had no idea how to draw paper.
“College was when I really started to refine my skills and realize that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did,” said Cristi. She learned how to use a wide variety of art mediums instead of just using the pencils like she had in high school.
Christi said, “Hudson Valley has completely transformed me as an artist.”