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An Eye for Art: Westminster’s Kristen Landsman a college student and contest winner who creates ‘art by that girl’

Kristen Landsman is pictured with three of her artworks. Left to right are: Cat’s Pajama’s, an original digital design glicee, Portrait of Salvadore Dali done in acrylic, watercolor, chalk and oil pastel, colored pencil, markers, nail polish, hair spray and various cosmetic products; and Ester, her great grandmother done in acrylic and oil.
Kristen Landsman is pictured with three of her artworks. Left to right are: Cat’s Pajama’s, an original digital design glicee, Portrait of Salvadore Dali done in acrylic, watercolor, chalk and oil pastel, colored pencil, markers, nail polish, hair spray and various cosmetic products; and Ester, her great grandmother done in acrylic and oil. (Lyndi McNulty)

Kristen Landsman is an artist from Westminster who has had the talent to create art for pretty much as long as she can remember.

“I have always been into art. When I was in preschool, I could draw something such as Elmo and you could tell what it was. I always had an attention to detail,” Landsman said.

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“The first real canvas painting I did was in seventh grade.,” Landsman said. “I always liked art classes.”

In seventh grade she started doing a lot of art in her free time. When her grandmother passed away, she did artwork for people who were in hospice. She used acrylics to paint landscapes and animals.

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As she got busier with school, she stopped doing art for hospice patients. When she was a freshman at Delone Catholic High School in Hanover, she did a drawing for a fund raiser at her church to raise money for a mission trip to India.

She won a couple Christmas card contests during her sophomore and senior year in high school. Landsman took an elective class on the Holocaust during her senior year. Her teacher gave her a form to enter an international contest called the Holocaust Art and Writing Contest held by the 1939 Society at Chapman University in California. Landman won first place for high school contestants with a large graphite and charcoal depiction of Holocaust victims being marched to a death camp. To participate in the contest, she had to watch videos about the Holocaust.

Landsman also was the international winner among 255 schools, 31 states, 8 countries and 1,000 entries. She won an all expenses paid trip to California to visit the Holocaust museums and Japanese Interment camps. On her last day, she had dinner with the holocaust survivor she had depicted with her art.

She also won the Carroll Community College Christmas card contest in each of the past two years. She’s the only student to have won the contest twice.

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In 2018, Landsman drew two children making snow angels. Last Christmas, she drew inspiration from sledding as a youth. Both years, she won a monetary prize and some printed cards of her image.

Carroll Community College student Kristen Landsman, second from left, the winner of the annual contest to illustrate the school's holiday card, poses with Jessi Hardesty, left, the college's director visual arts, James D. Ball, president of the college; and Dana Champney, program director computer graphics.
Carroll Community College student Kristen Landsman, second from left, the winner of the annual contest to illustrate the school's holiday card, poses with Jessi Hardesty, left, the college's director visual arts, James D. Ball, president of the college; and Dana Champney, program director computer graphics. (Courtesy Carroll Community College)

Landsman is majoring in art at Carroll Community College. She has taken Drawing 1, Printmaking and 2-D design. The 2-D art class revolves learning balance and design in art. She is now studying Drawing 2. In that class she is drawing fantasy characters and landscapes. Her major project is a character study of a fantasy character she made up. Hers are alien characters.

Landsman is a 2018 graduate of Delone Catholic High School. She expects to graduate from Carroll Community College in fall 2020 and transfer to MICA or a similar college to pursue a career in art, according to a news release from the CCC.

Landsman’s style has been traditional. For example, she did a black and white portrait of her great grandmother that was shown at the Maryland Art Place “Out of Order Show.” It was her first show.

“While I was proud of what I did, I realized I needed to change my style. I decided I was playing it too safe to do realism," she said.

Landsman has developed a new and different style from her traditional realistic style. She is doing graphic simplified digital images. She is known by “art by that girl.”

Landsman challenges herself to use only three colors including yellow, green and orange. She also puts her graphic art, often cartoon like, as videos. Her first simple videos were only about 30 images. The videos I have made are very simple such as a rolling head titled “No Body,” Landsman said. She clearly has a unique sense of humor she incorporates into her artwork.

Landsman did a music video for the Dune Flowers music groups’ single “Lonesome Cowboy.” She drew 679 original frames but there are 1,000 in the video.

“I am now thinking about going into animation. The music video I made was a thousand times more complicated than the first ones I did,” Landsman said.

Landsman admires Andy Warhol and Jean Michael-Basquiat as artists.

“I like the satisfaction of completing something for someone else’s enjoyment. When I was doing realism I was trying to improve myself. Now that I have my Instagram page, people are messaging me that they like my artwork. They want commissions. I produce the artwork I want to produce and people like it,” Landsman said. Her Instagram account is art.by.thatgirlk.

"For the future, I know I want to study in a local collage art program,” Landsman said.

She can be contacted at artbyk18@gmail.com.

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