88: Kirstin Van Cleef

Categories: Creatives 2012

When we last put the spotlight on 100 creative forces in Phoenix, it was no secret there were more than 100 individuals who were making waves in the local arts community. So as we count down to our annual Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome (back) to 100 Creatives .

kvcmain.jpg
photo by Jesse Tallman, Ironwood Images
Kirstin Van Cleef
Kirstin Van Cleef's work is behind the scenes by nature, but you've likely seen the result of her efforts in arts projects around the city. She's a project manager at Scottsdale Public Art, where she specializes in temporary projects, events, and outreach.

The photographer says she landed in public art after a few internships with Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture and Scottsdale Public Art. Six years later, Van Cleef is busy coordinating temporary installations including IN FLUX, which commissioned local emerging artists to fill and activate vacant space along Marshall Way in Scottsdale and Mill Avenue in partnership with Maja Aurora of Tempe Public Art.

You can catch her next week at Scottsdale Civic Library where she'll be coordinating a workshop with Phoenix artist Saskia Jorda.

Kirstin Van Cleef Projects Collage low res.jpg
From top & left to right OVERFLOW! | Virginia Fleck | Scottsdale Arts Festival 2010 | photo by Andrew Urban Pollination | Melissa Martinez| IN FLUX Cycle 1 | photo by Jesse Tallman IN FLUX logo | Melissa McGurgan | Storefront art initiative launched by Scottsdale Public Art October 2010 BEAUTIFUL LIGHT | D.A. Therrien | Scottsdale Waterfront 2009 | photo by Dayvid Lemmon BEAR WITH US | Tara Logsdon | IN FLUX Cycle 1 | photo by Jesse Tallman The Mythology of Cleo part 1 | Erin V. Sotak | IN FLUX Cycle 1 | photo by Jesse Tallman The Mythology of Cleo part 2 | Erin V. Sotak | IN FLUX Cycle 1 | photo by Jesse Tallman This Much I Know | Maggie Leininger | IN FLUX Cycle 1 | photo by Jesse Tallman Collective Energy |Saskia Jorda | Ceiling installation for 1000/100+ Journals exhibition at Scottsdale Civic Center Library 2012 | photo by Jesse Tallman Soleri Bridge and Plaza dedication performance and ceremony 2010| Rachel Bowditch | photo by Chris Loomis Iterative Process | Ryan Peter Miller | IN FLUX Cycle 1 | photo by Jesse Tallman Ceramic Jungle (Goldfish vs. Genies)| Pete Goldlust | IN FLUX Cycle 1 | photo by Jesse Tallman The Grove | Erin V. Sotak | artist in residence IN FLUX Cycle 2 | photo by Erin V. Sotak Fear and Water (Lucid Dreaming)| Logan Bellew | IN FLUX Cycle 2 | photo by Jesse Tallman Drain | Craig Randich | IN FLUX Cycle 2 | photo by Jesse Tallman Picnic with a Fish | Mary Lucking | Equinox art event at Soleri Bridge and Plaza 2012 | photo by Jesse Tallman Scottsdale's 100+ Journals logo | Melissa McGurgan | Community interactive project May 2011-June 2012 Transfix at Fish Round-Up 2010 | Rachel Bowditch | photo by Chris Loomis BEAUTIFUL LIGHT | D.A. Therrien | Keystone artwork at Toronto Nuit Blanche 2009 | photo by Dayvid Lemmon
I came to Phoenix with... my family and Maxine, my cat at the time.

I make art because... I believe it is an important part of a fulfilling existence for everyone.

I'm most productive when...this depends on the task at hand or what stage a project is in. Sometimes I am most productive by myself with music on in the background. If I am working on something alone, there will always be music on. As I write this, I am listening to a playlist I made that includes Gayngs, New Order, iamamwhoami, The Knife, Broken Social Scene, Phantogram, Pixies and more...At other times, I work best in collaborative situations. Public art projects require contributions from many individuals, working with a team that functions well together is one of the most motivating things I have ever experienced.

My inspiration wall is full of... a wide array of things, and it's not just one wall. Every space I work in contains bits of inspiration throughout...ticket stubs, to-do lists, art I love, notes and small gifts from friends and family, mementos and photos from vacations, special occasions, and everyday life.

I've learned the most from... working. I have learned an immeasurable amount from working closely with people who have more or different experience from me and I learn more everyday on every aspect of every project I tackle.


Good work should always... remain elusive to define! OK, really...everyone has their own definition of what good art is, and for each person that has a positive reaction to a particular artwork, there is most likely another person who will have a negative one. For me, good public art successfully responds to a set of needs or constraints as well as provides connection and calls attention to our surroundings and each other.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more... holistic valley-wide connections, education, and engagement as well as more opportunities for mid-career and emerging creatives...all things I strive to have an impact on.

The Creatives, so far ... (And while you're here, check out 100 Tastemakers on Chow Bella.)

100:Lara Plecas
99. Isaac Caruso
98. Brandon Gore
97. Kelsey Dake
96. Hector Ruiz
95. Caroline Battle
94: Jennifer Campbell
93. Jeff Chabot
92. Tiffiney Yazzie
91. Daniel Germani
90. Irma Sanchez
89. Daniel m. Davis

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