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Photo of Christa Barnell

Christa Barnell

Grand Haven, MI, United States

Early on, I was inspired by the Illustrators of the Golden Age. The magical narratives lent themselves to children’s portraiture, which is how I made a living. Growing up in rural Indiana near Gene Stratton Porter’s Limberlost, I was surrounded by natural beauty and a menagerie of animals. Life in the mid-west is intertwined with religion and mysticism, so I often refer to the unseen, usually by overlapping one image atop another, conveying something otherworldly. My mom, an art teacher, gave us blank paper to draw on, instead of coloring books. She said that I executed my first masterpiece at the age of three with a meticulously smooth pâté of liverwurst covering the entire television screen. Our summers were often spent in Santa Fe, where my first commissioned portrait was paid for with several pieces of turquoise. I'm a graduate of The School of Creative Arts in Fort Wayne, Indiana, currently living and painting in my home sunroom studio in Michigan.

Christa's ArtPrize Entries

These are Christa's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.

  • Photo of The Spots of Youth

    The Spots of Youth

    2021 ArtPrize Entry Christa Barnell
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  • Photo of Lily's Lantern: a Tale of the Graffiti Forest

    Lily's Lantern: a Tale of the Graffiti Forest

    2011 ArtPrize Entry Christa Barnell
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Christa's Past Work

These are images of past work that Christa has done.

  • Christa's past work
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  • Christa's past work