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12 Questions: Kassandra Palmer

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Artist Bio

Kassandra Palmer (b. 1991) was born in Fairfield, CA and raised in Green Bay, WI. She earned her B.S. in physics from Santa Clara University (2013) and her MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Iowa (2018). She has exhibited nationally, and most recently had solo exhibitions at CVA Wausau (2023); at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (2020); and at the Overture Center for the Arts (2020). Palmer has been represented by James May Gallery since 2019.Kassandra Palmer lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin.

Artist Statement

I make paintings and drawings that are intuitive, intimate and imbued with paradox.

Working from memory and imagination, I combine symbolic forms to create landscapes, portraits, and abstractions that point toward psychological and metaphysical themes.

In my most recent body of work, I have drawn conceptual inspiration from my background in physics and from my experience of being a new mother in an era of pandemic. Imagery of butterflies, profiles in silhouette, moons, homes, trees and wood grain focus on themes of interiority and metamorphosis.

My main purpose in painting and drawing is to study interactions of time, symbol, story, relationship, and nature.

Additional areas of influence include (but are not limited to): tall tales and myths, improbable truths, believable lies, interspecies friendships, sentience, ghost stories, telepathy, untold/forgotten histories, emotion, touch, and the woods and water of the Upper Midwest.

When I am making, I try to leave room for the survival of the unexpected.

1.What are 1-3 books that have influenced your life?

I’m more of a moving pictures kind of gal, but interestingly, the ones I have seen the most are both also books I love: Contact, by Carl Sagan and The Princess Bride.

2. What are you currently working on?

Right now I’m planning on simplifying my practice by spending the next couple of years painting on wooden