Artist's Statement

I search to find the elegance, the humor, and the humanity in our constructed environments. I explore the ways people structure place and how, in turn, a place can shape a people. Looking at this interdependent relationship of place and identity, with a focus on domestic space and vernacular culture, is the foundation of my artistic practice.

An acute awareness to the influence of place on identity developed as a direct result of my upbringing in the coalfields of Central Appalachia. This background in an area that is heavily stereotyped and otherwise constructed by the assumptions of both locals and outsiders has proven to be a formative presence in my life.

In the studio, I draw from photographic notes and my own memory to create compositions that catalogue, conflate, and distill images of the everyday. Primarily working within the disciplines of printmaking and drawing, I make images, installations, and books. 


Kristen Necessary was born and raised in southwest Virginia among the mountains of Central Appalachia. The experience of this place continues to exert a strong influence on her artistic work where she uses a focus on vernacular culture to investigate the interdependent relationship of place and identity.

Kristen currently lives in Brevard, NC where she works as a studio artist, educator, and owner + operator of Starfangled Press. Specializing in Relief, Intaglio, Screen Print, and Drawing, Kristen received her MFA in Printmaking from the University of Iowa in 2011, and her BFA in Painting + Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008.

Kristen has attended artist residencies and workshops throughout the United States including ACRE and Anderson Ranch. She is a recipient of the Iowa Arts Council Major Grant, the SOUP Artist Grant, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship. Her work is widely exhibited and found in numerous national and international collections, including the Collection of the US Embassy (Iceland), Collection of Cork Printmakers (Ireland), PROYECTO´ ace Print Collection (Argentina), and the Denver Art Museum (USA).