KAMLOOPS ARTS COUNCIL
Art in the Park
Kirsten Atkins is not just a professional seamstress but an incredibly talented and imaginative designer. It’s easy to see why, her grandfather was a Master Tailor and she quickly picked up the interest at the age of six.
Shortly after high school Kirsten opened her first sewing shop; after that she started her own label of KLA Originals. Kirsten’s first love is costuming and that led her to making and renting costumes for 20 years. Prior to settling in Kamloops Kirsten spent 8 years living in the Yukon Klondike studying the clothing styles of the late 1800s and works with numerous theater companies and organizations such as parks Canada in the reconstructions of period costume.
With this experience today she has designed many different beautiful body shaping corsets and her love of colour has led her to the design and production of many different styles of award winning up cycled sweater jackets and dresses. In 2013, 2017 and 2019 Kirsten has won awards for her wearable art Sweater designs giving her great recognition as an artist.
Kirsten currently works out of her home and attends many Art and Music Festivals year-round.
A Conversation with the Artsit:
Name: Kirsten Lia Atkins
How long have you been doing your art: 11 years
What got you originally interested in the art you do: My current work was inspired by clothing given to my daughters that they rejected but I liked. The items were too small for me so I cut up some sweaters and Frankensteined them together for myself. The result was pretty cool and I got lots of compliments on it, my daughter even stole it occasionally. The designed evolved from there to what I have today.
What is something you have learned about yourself through your art: As a professional seamstress for 30 years I realized through the support of the Arts Council that I am more than that, I am an Artist.
What do you enjoy the most about your art: I love the freedom to use my creativity as I want to.
What is your favorite joke/quote: I serge so that makes me a sergeon!
If you could teach everyone one art medium or method, what would it be, why: The art of sewing has been lost through the generations. They barely teach it at schools anymore, I would love to share my knowledge with adults who would like to try it again to youths who have interest in learning to make and recreate their own clothes.
What do you think makes art important: For myself Art is my counselor, yoga master, meditation coach and drill instructor. I use one medium to build up energy and another to relax. It makes me happiest when I see my art making others happy.
What is something most people don’t know about you: Not too many people know that I’m a Mermaid but that is changing as I tell more people who really believe me.
Why are you a member of the Kamloops Arts Council: I am a member of the Arts Council because of the support and inspiration they and all of the other members have provided me during my 12 year career in Kamloops.
What are you looking forward to the most in this upcoming year (A special show or project you’re working on): A vaccine for COVID so big festivals can come back!