We had the good fortune of connecting with Kauri Crownhart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kauri, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
I have begun an endeavor of creating a series of oil paintings that will depict the closeness of God to anyone willing to set ego aside and reach out. In a culture that is so focused on the self – identity, image, personal truth, privilege, etc. – I believe it is of the utmost importance to ground the viewer… to nudge them to take a step outside their go-to Instagram filter, and consequently encourage them to contemplate what truly has value. I pray that my work makes a helpful impact in the community in this way: that at the end of someone’s life they may look back and think, “That one random art exhibit is where I let Jesus enter my heart.” I leave the impact of my paintings up to God, but I am hopeful and inspired in the work He’s calling me to do. I believe wholeheartedly that our community needs to reengage with the existential nature of being human; we cannot continue mindlessly numbing our day with media and expect humanity to improve. We cannot anticipate that social platforms will teach new generations how to selflessly love, how to make marriages work, how to let go of guilt, and so on. No… we need saving, and who better to save than our Creator? So that’s it, I suppose. My business helps the community by being a billboard for the Lord so that each viewer may identify with what I portray and possibly yearn to be pulled out of the depths of chaos like I did. I pray that my work is a respite, even if only for one person, where they can press pause on the dishes, deadlines, TikTok’s and arguments… and recenter their heart on what matters.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I believe that what sets my art apart from others is the purpose behind it. You can see in my response to how my business impacts the community that I am desperately passionate about connecting with the vulnerable parts of the viewer. It is an inescapable part of the human experience to feel broken, hopeless, aimless, and useless at times. Anyone who has depth or is discontented with staying on the surface of existing has been pushed around by the chaotic waves of life and has felt as if they’re drowning under pressure. Long story short, you are not the only one who can’t catch your breath at times. So how is my art different from others? It is prayerfully designed to give you hope.
This, perhaps, is exactly what I’m most excited for as my career begins to blossom: my paintings are starting to stand for something meaningful. I am a self-taught artist, so the bulk of my years painting have been explorative rehearsals for the real deal. I’ve spent countless hours practicing and making mistakes just to practice more and make new mistakes. Admittedly, it can be frustrating at times. But that’s also the gift of art: mistakes lead to beautiful discoveries. Though my style is still explorative (I never want to be stagnant), I feel I am reaching a new phase of refinement since the fundamentals are easier to execute. In other words, I can focus more on the story than the dimensions, colors and values.
I have learned that one of the greatest blessings in life is to enjoy what you do. “A person can do nothing better than… find satisfaction in their own toil.” That is Ecclesiastes 2:24. Of course, I do not want to quote it out of context, so please read the chapter on your own. But it is true that we are meant to enjoy the tasks that God gave us to do, and I’m so thankful for the freedom to do just that. Pursuing the arts has been far from easy, and I have said in my shoutout how impossible it would have felt impossible to paint full-time without the support (emotionally and financially) of my husband. But it is my calling, and I have learned that nothing can stand in the way of your calling besides your own fear. ***A word to the wise for aspiring full-time artists: make sure you are prepared to brand, market, manage a website, manage social media, and package and ship your work without help. This, on top of creating new artwork consistently. Pursuing art gives you 10 other job titles, and you need to craft a business model before taking the leap in order to be successful.***
I’d like for the world to know that my brand is focused on relating to your hardship, providing hope in Jesus to pull you out of stress and strain, and creating peace and beauty to grace your hallways and mantels. If you are drawn to my artwork I believe it is for a reason, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Here in Tucson, AZ, one place I’d be sure to take a visiting family member or friend would be Crema Coffee. Of course, this may be a little bit selfish since I have my art hanging there, but regardless, it is some of the best coffee in town. It is owned by Aaron and Amy, the sweetest couple you will ever meet, and they are sure to make you feel right at home.
Alongside painting I also perform and manage a singing trio called The Manhattan Dolls, which means I couldn’t let a visitor leave without checking out the Gaslight Theatre. They put on hilarious musicals as well as host concert series, including vintage shows by the Dolls! Right next door to the east location is an adorable diner called Little Anthony’s which hosts Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley impersonators on Saturday nights- that is also always a fun time.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to shoutout my husband for his unwavering support in my work. I was a pharmaceutical representative trying to fit in art when I could until my husband selflessly pushed me to give up the stable income and pursue painting. It was a scary leap of faith, but knowing that I had him as a reliable and loving support system made it much less intimidating. When I look back on the last handful of years, I see that he is the one who encouraged me to keep practicing art in the first place (I had somewhat given up my creative side prior to meeting him). There is a consistent pattern of him helping, pushing, supporting and loving me throughout my pursuit of this gift, and I truly do not believe I’d be where I’m at today without him.
Other: Keep up to date with exhibition information on my website, or email email@example.com with inquiries.