Christina Keith is an artist, pottery-maker, teacher and now an entrepreneur. A Chaska native now living in Prior Lake, Keith makes one-of-a-kind pieces from her art studio, Christina Keith Studios, where she teaches and sells her work — anything from ceramics to paintings.
Passionate about art since she was child, Keith’s love and talent for the arts has taken her into the field of education where she teaches new generations about different art mediums.
“For the last 10 years I’ve taught at Eastern Carver County Schools as a high school art teacher,” said Keith. “It’s been a great mix of that job helping me continue to learn and get in touch with a really supportive artistic community and also refining my skills with lesson planning and teaching those skills to others.”
Keith has a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in studio art with an emphasis in painting and ceramics and a K-12 education license from College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s as well as a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction in art education with an emphasis in digital arts/media from the University of Minnesota. She teaches drawing, painting and digital art to students at Chaska High School.
Keith’s work resides in dozens of public and private collections. Her paintings have been reproduced and used as wall murals and album art, and hang in several businesses. Keith has received local and national recognition for her artwork, including a painting residency with the Golden Foundation in 2019.
Keith said aside from pottery, her emphasis lies in painting. Over the last several years, she has paired her digital media and traditional art skills to develop a method that transfers graphic visuals within the mid-ground of her paintings.
“I’ve kind of developed over the past several years, a mixed media process using mainly acrylic paint,” said Keith. “I incorporate mostly topographical imagery — usually maps — within the middle ground of my painting. I do a lot of custom work like people’s lake homes or landmarks in Minneapolis and up north. So, I’ll hand paint all the imagery that you’ll see in the paintings and then I transfer vintage topography into the painting.”
When it comes to pottery, Keith said she releases her items a few times a year but she hopes she can return to selling her pieces in person once COVID-19 restrictions ease up.
“For pottery, I do small batch stuff and I’ll release a few pieces a year, about four online releases a year. I’m crossing my fingers when we can do in-person art crawls, I have pottery at those as well,” said Keith. “I make a lot of mugs, tumblers, cups, planters and custom dinnerware sets. I usually stick to making functional work that people would be able to use in their everyday lives.”
Keith will most likely do another restock sometime this summer and said she does have plans to attend art crawls this fall. She started her business six years ago after moving to Prior Lake with her husband, who is also a teacher in Chaska.
“I’ve slowly been gradually building it which has been a lot of fun. Prior Lake has been a great community, it’s a very receptive artistic community,” she said. “People are always welcome to visit. I always joke that it’s open by appointment or by luck. Having my day job, I’m not here all the time but I am happy to invite people in.”
As an educator, Keith said she also enjoys teaching small group classes.
“In regards to the last year and switching facets of my business to accommodate, I do enjoy teaching small group classes. I was partnering with Boathouse Brothers for a while and doing adult evening painting classes,” she said. “I also do birthday parties, sip and paint classes or weekend workshops. I’m always open to small group teaching opportunities.”
Keith welcomes the community to visit her art studio to learn more about her work.
“I would just recommend that they email me to set up a time or they can contact me through my website,” said Keith. “I usually encourage people if they’re interested to see what’s up and coming to sign up for my email list.”