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Visiting Artist & Alumna Profile: Rena Detrixhe

Monday, October 22, 2018


Hometown: Russell, KS

Education: B.F.A. in Expanded Media (and a minor in Art History) from the University of Kansas

When/how did you get interested in art?
My mother is an artist and my father is a musician; I was always encouraged by my family to be creative. I don't remember a time when I was not interested in art.

Did you always know you’d be an artist?
I’m not sure I always knew what it meant to be an artist but I allowed myself to be creative even while I was (often) captivated by other disciplines. I have always had many interests including history, geography, and the natural world. I excelled in math and science in high school and seriously considered a career in the sciences. One of the things that is compelling about being an artist is that we get to be curious and ask questions about any subject through the lens of art and experience without the limitations of the field. I am not a scientist or a historian, but I can access geography or history as a point of departure in my work.

What’s your favorite thing about being an artist?
My community. I am constantly amazed by the brilliant, thoughtful, creative individuals that I've had the opportunity to meet through the artist community and I'm proud to call them my friends.

Where do you find creative inspiration?
A drop of water, a well-worn path, the act of walking and collecting, plants, photosynthesis, my friends.

If you could see 10 years into the future, what do you hope to be doing?
Making art, collaborating with friends, teaching, and planting a garden.

What would you tell your college-aged self now if you could?
Get some more sleep!

What’s your favorite KU memory?
During my final year as an undergraduate I had the pleasure of assisting renowned artist (and KU alum) Ann Hamilton with her installation at the Spencer Museum of Art. The same week her exhibition opened I had my senior thesis show at the Kansas Union Gallery and Ann attended my opening, it meant the world to me.

What was the last thing you read for fun?
A History of Light by Alvaro Cardona-Hine