What do you do?
Kristine Van Wert

Where do you work and what is your title?
       I have an art studio next to my house, and I’m typically referred to as a fine-art artist.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       I create work, usually in oil or pastel mediums. The ultimate responsibility is to present the subject matter in an understanding manner.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       That is difficult to answer. Somewhere around fifth grade I decided that I could be an artist. I have worked toward art when I could, but only during the last couple of years has a career for me been possible. I have had my studio on the Westside for several years.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       Creating, interpreting and building the work is the best. It is much like having a world of your own that others can visit, hopefully appreciate and maybe take with them.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       I would wish for greater appreciation of art in America. I grew up with a lot of second- and third-generation Ellis Island families. In most of these people’s homes was some kind of original art, and it often was reflective of their life’s journey.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       The frustration of trying to paint to the level of work that I see in my mind.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       The moods of the people on the sidewalks. The Westside allows you to observe the walkers, kids, runners, dogs walking their owners and some who appear lost in the day. It is much like a strange, multi-dimensional and value-varied puzzle. Oh, the light is good, too.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.