Sunday, October 5, 2008

Melbourne International Arts Festival - Kristy Edmunds

I have the privilege of knowing this astounding human being, Kristy Edmunds.

I met Kristy while working at the Portland Art Museum from 1990 - 1993. Shortly after meeting Kristy we became friends. Several times a week we would wonder over to Coffee People or up to Rich's coffe cart and enjoy a coffee break together. I would sit in the presence of this woman in awe of her talent, wit and intelligence. A talented artist in many mediums, and at that time a curator then director at PAM's ground-breaking 'Art On The Edge' Program, introducing contemporary visual and performance art to Portland. I was membership manager at the time and we would strategize how to build AOTE membership and lower attrition of museum membership by keeping then current members intrigued. Kristy opened my eyes to many amazing artists. I had never been exposed to artists like Diamanda Galas. My Mid-West sensabilities were blown through the roof when I saw this avant-garde performance artist. I'll never forget sitting in the audience of Susie Bright hoping that some of those older museum donors hadn't read the description of this show and were squirming in their seats as we heard some of the best erotic tales to be told. Kristy left the museum soon after I moved back to the Mid-West and launched Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. That's when her career really started to soar.

When I moved back to Portland in 1999 I was able to sneak several hours of her precious time catching up over cocktails. Soon after Kristy's life changed and off she went to Australia. For the last four years Kristy has been Artistic Director for the Melbourne International Arts Festival, and this is her final year before she moves on to Head, VCA Performing Arts in Melbourne – Australia’s premier tertiary training and education institution for the performing and visual arts.

This is a great picture of Kristy with the exception that this image should be in reverse, because this woman goes 100MPH, 24/7 while the world stands still. If you're lucky you catch a glimpse of her. She is one of the brightest stars in our world. If live in Melbourne and have the chance attend this year's festival, you should do so. It seems Kristy has some many wonderful surprises for you. I wish I were there to experience some of them.

Kristy you continue to astound me. Congratulations to you my dear friend. I wish you the best in your new endeavor. Call me when you come back to Portland - I need a Kristy fix!


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