Kirsten Ledbetter is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Art Education, a Bachelor of Fine Arts with concentrations in Painting and Ceramics as well as a minor in Special Education.
Her desire is to be as versatile as possible in order to take advantage of any opportunity that comes her way. She has determination and motivation to fulfill any task and her academic performance, in her five years at Miami, exemplifies this. During her time at Miami, she received many scholarships and grants for her studio work, her art education research, as well as her academic merit. During her five years at Miami, she also had many opportunities for involvement and leadership; she served as president of the student chapter of the National Art Education Association on the Miami University campus for the 2015-2016 academic year.
She is also passionate about arts education and travel. In the summer of 2016, she was an intern at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati for their arts summer camp. She has also had international experiences during her time at Miami; in the summer of 2015, she traveled to the city of Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany for an intensive language summer course at the Albert-Ludwigs Universität. She also had teaching experience that was facilitated through her university. She taught in the United States and Luxembourg; she spent eight weeks teaching kindergarten through fourth grade at Madeira Elementary School in Cincinnati, Ohio and then spent eight weeks teaching at the Nordstad Lycée in Diekirch, Luxembourg teaching sixth grade through twelfth grade in English, German and French.
A passionate artist, she is in a tumultuous yet prolific time of making in her studio. She is searching for her own independent voice through the creation of seemingly every idea that enters her mind. During her last semester, she participated in her Capstone Exhibition “Still Just as Qualified” where she exhibited new experimental works. She has had an exhilarating last semester at Miami that will propel her into her next chapter of life.
She will be vigilant and open-minded for: exhibition opportunities, publication opportunities, collaboration opportunities, almost any opportunity that allows her to continue making and share her work with others. Kirsten will be creating a portfolio over the next two years with the goal of applying to and then attending graduate school in Germany where she hopes to work toward her Master of Fine Arts.
My art investigates my identity as a woman and what it means to be a 21st-century woman. My work explores who I am and the relation of my identity to women’s identities in the past. I work in a variety of materials and kind of collect items but in a very specific way. I almost pay attention to each detail of a piece as well as the process of creating a piece. I nurture each piece as it takes nurturing to develop as an individual, the process of coming to where we are now is something that is very important to me. I also am interested in the topic of ‘high’ art versus ‘low’ art; meaning highly revered, traditionally and often costly materials versus creating art with easier to access, less costly materials. I make informed material choices also for the kinds of thoughts it provokes in viewers. Sewing and textile work traditionally falls under the ‘low’ art category because it can be learned/taught. It is also used more readily and is more accessible to people when compared to traditional oil painting, sculpture work, etc. Sewing is part of everyone’s lives; clothing, bedding, towels, repairing clothing, quilting, etc. I explore the art of sewing and textiles in my work and take into consideration the perspective of them as ‘low’ art and traditional feminine crafts. In this exploration, I work in nontraditional methods, incorporating nontraditional materials. Along with the subject of femininity, feminism and the modern world, I explore the ideas of discovery, investigation/exploration, veiling, symbolism, color and light. I experiment with texture, light, color, fabric, stenciling, layering, installation, thread, and other materials that catch my curiosity. The ideas that I explore also come into consideration when I consider the vocabulary or language used for my work. Veiling, investigation, fog: these words contribute to my exploration and the language that purveys my work, which aids me in asserting my voice.