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Artist's Statement

Art is teachable empathy - particularly in the medium of theatre and film. In showing audiences characters that both do and don’t resemble themselves, horizons are broadened. Representation and character arcs shape narratives and can question prejudices, making people question their beliefs, either internally or externally. Through this we can shape politics, peoples dreams, and audience’s attitudes. Costumes are usually the first introduction the audience has to a character. That importance cannot be overstated. With a costume, I can choose to either reinforce, or to break stereotypes. I can shape the meaning and personality of the production without altering the text. 

Photo of Kjerstin
Misanthrope Arsinoe and Celimene photo by Ryan Webber

All characters, including caricatures, are rooted in and stem from reality. Every person has a reason for wearing what they do, and that affects how they care for it, and how they use their clothes. People can choose the exact same outfit and have wildly different motivations for doing so, whether it’s convenience, comfort, practicality, or blending in. Someone using clothes as a mask will have subtle differences from another who wears similar clothes for self expression or rebellion. There is personality behind every choice, and as a costume designer, I find that captivating. Every character has an inner life just as rich as the protagonist, and their costumes should reflect that.


Navigating the nuance of relationships, careers, dreams, and societal norms through clothing has enthralled my mind from the time I was seven. Over the years I’ve learned, grown, and developed skills to effectively dive into characters and represent them appropriately. I’ve barely skimmed the surface of what I can learn, and what I am capable of. Education and growth never stops whether or not I am in the classroom. Life and experiences are teachers that never stop lecturing, so long as you listen.

I design costumes and characters because it’s what my brain is wired to do, but I chose to follow this path because I know that it can make a difference. 

about The Artist

Kjerstin Anderson is a professional Creative and a practicing dork. Currently a 2nd year MFA candidate in Costume Design and Technology at the University of Missouri Kansas City, she has grown up in southern Minnesota, though the Northwoods have always felt more like home.

She believes that art is essential to the human soul. She is inspired by the mundane, the childish, and raw wounds too tender to be expressed through conversation.  


As a perpetual cheerleader, with or without her pom-poms, her favorite part of collaborating (and life) is encouraging others. Despite her chronic illness, she tries to remain optimistic and always works hard to let people know how much they are appreciated.

Some of her favorite things include:

    Fruit Snacks

    Family dinners

    Fresh icy snow that coats bare tree branches in silver


    The smell of an art classroom

    Fuzzy Socks with Sloths on them

    Pink nail polish

    Intense discourse on theories about fictional worlds

    Fruit Bats


    The way that glitter invades every inch of a home


    Fall days that are just cold enough to make you shiver, but not put on a jacket.

    Existential Questions

    Nights in

Kjerstin with dog Franklin
Artist's Statement
About the Artist
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