Shoebox Conversations: Betzi Stein

Shoebox Conversations: Betzi Stein

Welcome to Shoebox Conversations. Our Shoebox PR team, Kristine Schomaker, Sheli Silverio and S. Vollie Osborn, are meeting up with artists via Zoom to discuss their art practice, new work, upcoming exhibitions, and more.

Please meet Betzi Stein:

People are my muse. My contemporary portrait paintings, sourced from photos I take myself, celebrate the ordinary and extraordinary people who capture my imagination. The spark that begins my creative process is what I find humorous in the people I choose as subjects. Once committed, I combine the formal elements that go into creating a work of art with a spiritual connection that breathes life into the people I paint.

My interest in figurative realism began in college majoring in sculpture and then in my profession as a massage therapist sculpting living bodies rather than clay. When I began to paint, hands–the essential tools of massage–were my first subjects.

Having decided to forgo college for a time, I spent two years traveling and studying art and culture in Britain, Western Europe and Morocco.

I attended college at California State University, Long Beach earning a B.F.A. in Sculpture and Jewelry Design, after which I spent five years as a professional jeweler.

My involvement in art making took a back seat while I built and sustained my massage therapy practice, Betzi Stein Massage Therapy. Being drawn to the massage profession has always felt like a natural extension of my love of sculpting the body.

In recent years, I returned seriously to painting the figure, and expanded my oeuvre by welcoming portrait commissions of adults, children and pets. I work in my home studio in the Palms section of Los Angeles, California.

I’m an active member of TAG Gallery, the International Society of Acrylic Painters, Los Angeles Art Association and Women Painters West. My art has received numerous awards, and has been shown and collected throughout the United States.

https://www.betzistein.com/home

Author

Kristine Schomaker is a new media and performance artist, painter and art historian living and working at the Brewery artist complex in Los Angeles. For over 14 years she has been working with various interdisciplinary art forms including online virtual worlds to explore identity and the hybridization of digital media with the physical world. Whether virtual or physical, the object-based work Kristine creates combines elements of color-based gestural abstraction, animation, pattern and design, neo-Baroque and Populence. Using installation, text, photography, mixed media, video and performance for her ongoing conceptual project My Life as an Avatar, she visualizes a narrative/dialogue with her virtual persona, Gracie Kendal. Kristine then documents her experiences on her blog. In 2012, exploring ideas of community, Kristine turned a local gallery into a modern day creation of Gertrude Stein’s salon of the 1920’s with a live mixed-reality dinner party merging the physical world with the online virtual world. Over the summer she also performed The Bald and the Beautiful in which she had her head shaved as a statement to challenge society’s standards of beauty. Currently, Kristine is working as an Artist-in-Residence through the Linden Endowment for the Arts creating an immersive virtual environment which she is planning to bring into the physical world via sculpture/public art work.

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