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Artist of the Month - February 2020

Written By Jim T. Gammill, Arts Council Menifee

Kathleen Larsen is an artist and educator from Menifee, California. As a photographer, Kathleen sees the world through a variety of lenses; some that may highlight traditional photography; and some that may focus on the digital age. Kathleen started her artistic journey at an early age and began passing on her knowledge by teaching kindergarten children art techniques while she was just in middle school.

“Teaching was always in my blood, I guess,” the artist reflected, ”and I have been doing it for almost 23 years now!”

Larsen began her career in the art world as a self-taught graphic designer. She specialized in logo design and typesetting and the artist was able to enjoy a steady and rewarding career in an industry that she loved. Years later, she decided to take a different career path and began teaching high school art, although Kathleen did take a couple of years off in order to go back to school and earn her MFA.

Like many artists, Kathleen has struggled with trying to find the perfect balance between her artistic and professional life. She even tried to retire from her teaching job at one point to focus on her art, only realizing that she missed the kids too much and decided to go back. 

“My high school students at Rancho Christian are just amazing! I especially love teaching the AP classes; I’ve had the opportunity to teach so many talented artists,” Kathleen declared.

Larsen has recently been able to achieve the balance that she was hoping for by changing her position to part time and using the newly found free time to focus on her art. 

Kathleen works in several mediums, but specializes in photography. She finds inspiration in both traditional and digital photography and even combined the two styles in her thesis project entitled, Traces. The innovative series of images showcases landscape photography with both traditional and digital artwork overlays to enhance the images. Her work has been showcased both locally and nationally and the artist has been recognized as the winner of Menifee’s Out of the Box Utility Box Art Contest in 2018 as well as placing in the Temecula Valley Arts Show. 

The artist has had the joy of seeing her work published in landscape magazines and exhibition catalogs and even has a current Black and White exhibition located at the U.S. Bank in Sun City. Kathleen has also been a long-time member and supporter of Arts Council Menifee and can almost always be found displaying her work at ACM showcase events.

ACM Trustee, Kathy Pickett, had nothing but praise for Kathleen Larsen’s work.

“Her photos are amazing! Her published work and award winning art speaks for itself,” Pickett said.

Arts Council Menifee is proud to name Kathleen Larsen as its Artist of the Month for February, 2020. 

Readers can enjoy the artist’s work and keep up on her projects at her website: www.kathleenlarsenfineart.com