Kathleen Larsen is ACM’s February 2020 Artist of the Month

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Kathleen Larsen
Kathleen Larsen is Arts Council Menifee’s Artist of the Month for February 2020. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Kathleen Larsen, an artist and educator from Menifee, is Arts Council Menifee’s Artist of the Month for February 2020. As a photographer, Larsen said she sees the world through a variety of lenses; some that may highlight traditional photography and some that may focus on the digital age.

Larsen started her artistic journey at an early age and began passing on her knowledge by teaching kindergarten children art techniques while she was just in middle school.

“Teaching was always in my blood, I guess. And I have been doing it for almost 23 years now,” she said.

Larsen began her career in the art world as a self-taught graphic designer. She specialized in logo design and typesetting, and the artist was able to enjoy a steady and rewarding career in an industry that she loved. Years later, she decided to take a different career path and began teaching high school art, although Larsen did take a couple of years off to go back to school and earn her master’s degree in fine arts.

Like many artists, Larsen has struggled with trying to find the perfect balance between her artistic and professional life. She said she even tried to retire from her teaching job at one point to focus on her art, only realizing that she missed her students too much and decided to go back.

“My high school students at Rancho Christian are just amazing. I especially love teaching the AP classes; I’ve had the opportunity to teach so many talented artists,” Larsen said.

Larsen has recently been able to achieve the balance that she was hoping for by changing her position to part time and using the newly found free time to focus on her art.

Larsen works in several mediums, but specializes in photography. She finds inspiration in both traditional and digital photography and even combined the two styles in her thesis project entitled, “Traces.” The innovative series of images showcases landscape photography with both traditional and digital artwork overlays to enhance the images.

Her work has been showcased both locally and nationally and the artist has been recognized as the winner of Menifee’s Out of the Box Utility Box Art Contest in 2018 as well as placing in the Temecula Valley Arts Show.

The artist has had the joy of seeing her work published in landscape magazines and exhibition catalogues and even has a current “Black and White” exhibition located at the U.S. Bank in Sun City. Larsen has also been a longtime member and supporter of Arts Council Menifee and can almost always be found displaying her work at ACM showcase events.

ACM trustee Kathy Pickett praised Larsen’s work.

“Her photos are amazing. Her published work and award-winning art speaks for itself,” Pickett said.

Readers can enjoy the artist’s work and keep up on her projects at www.kathleenlarsenfineart.com.