Kris Strawser
Senior Lecturer
MFA, The University of the Arts

Sculptor, installation artist, rogue journalist and commentator Kris Strawser works with the properties of physical materials and the meanings and subliminal stirrings they evoke. Moving between intuitive reactions to news, the social media onslaught, shared histories and experiences, Strawser sifts for moments when spatial effects on the body’s senses merge with intellectual flashes of insight, unease and pleasure. Marcel Duchamp’s critique of fine art up to his day was that it was too “retinal”—too based in visual effects, and did not engage the mind extensively, which seemed to indicate his belief in a mind/body split. Strawser believes that mind and body are in fact a fully integrated entity that can be spoken to by intentional means, which are evolving all the time. Her work is experimental—an attempt, across disciplines and methodologies, to test this idea and find resonant moments of shared experience.

Born in southern Idaho and raised in the rural northwest, Strawser has spent her adult years in urban centers on the east and west coasts of the U.S. She maintained a sculpture studio while working as a visual journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News and the Miami Herald, where she contributed to a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 1999, and to a photo essay in 2000, a Pulitzer finalist. Rising from the rank of graphic artist to assistant managing editor, Strawser left the field of journalism in 2007 and completed her MFA at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she currently lectures.

Class Schedule, Fall 2016

- Independent Studio I
- Independent Writing Project I
- MFA Thesis and Exhibition

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