Katherine Coons is a trained studio artist with a MFA in painting and drawing from California State University at Long Beach. She teaches at the University of Alaska as an adjunct professor in the art department. Originally from the east coast, she obtained her undergraduate degree from Rowan University, and studied in France at the Sorbonne and the Universite de Tours under the aegis of Rutgers University. She graduated with a BA in French and taught high school French for three years. The next twenty years was spent in Los Angeles, California where she became a working contemporary artist, showing in both professional and alternative gallery spaces. Coons has been the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner grant, and she has received numerous travel grants from the state of Alaska. She has participated in artist residencies in New Delhi in India, Kodiak Island in Alaska, and in 2014, at La Porte Peinte, where examples of her work are on show in quotidiæn. She has taught and lectured overseas and continues to conduct art workshops. Solo exhibitions of Coons’ work have been held at the State Museum in Juneau and The International Gallery of Contemporary Art, among others. Her work has been included in several juried shows at the Anchorage Museum. Her travels to such places as Viet Nam, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and parts of Europe have served as an important source of inspiration for her work. An Interview with the Artist
My process in the studio challenges me to go outside the domain of the regular and the predictable. I collect ideas intuitively, and by working randomly, I construct something that pleases my eye and sensibilities. My process comes from constant exploration and this results in creating surprises. This action provides differences that can result in radical and unsettling expressions. Success to me is being inside the studio and doing the work.
Completing my residency at La Porte Peinte Centre pour les Arts pushed me to create new works, and in particular, I created a large assemblage or a wall installation from paper pieces and iPad drawings. Making new drawings and paintings on board and canvas were done everyday too, during this two-week residency. It practiced my creative hand and stirred my imagination; drawing from the French countryside, the lovely village aesthetics, the charming local French folk added to an amazing adventure of immense stimulation.