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Heart of Brevard Artist Spotlight Series

Art in the Printmaking with Kristen Necessary: An Artist Printmaker in the Heart of Brevard By John Harris

“I think the piece that best represents me is the next one,” shares Kristen Necessary, an artist printmaker and owner of Starfangled Press in the Heart of Brevard. She continued, “Every time you make a piece of art you’ve changed yourself. And in a very romantic way you’ve changed the world. Because you’ve added something to it that didn’t exist before.”

Necessary graduated as an art major at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. While there, she changed her focus from painting to printmaking. “I went there to be a painter and quickly figured out that I’m terrible at it. The program I was in was called painting and printmaking. When I took my first printmaking class I hated it. I said, ‘I’m never going to do it again.’” Thankfully she did and discovered how enjoyable it can be with the right teacher to encourage her to improve. She continued her studies at the University of Iowa and received a master’s degree in printmaking.

After living in Iowa for a few years, she was missing the mountains which had inspired many of her creations. Living closer to her family in Southwest Virginia was also an incentive to relocate. She discovered Brevard and soon fell in love with the area. This motivated her to open her own business in the Heart of Brevard.

In addition to artist and owner, Necessary holds many other titles including mother, wife, teacher and art curator. As her responsibilities have evolved over the years, so have the messages of her art. Necessary said, “I think more of my views on the world have changed, and that changes my art. It became more forgiving.”

When it comes to the creation of her art, Necessary states “It all starts with an idea.” She added that it continues “with drawing and testing out my ideas before I move them to printmaking.” After the drawing process, which can take her up to 30 hours, she transfers it over to wood carving, which can require up to 200 hours for completion. From there she places the carving on the printing press to complete the final stage of the process, which can take an additional three hours.

Something that draws Necessary to creating art through printmaking is at the very heart of the medium. As its history shows, the printing press was used to reach a larger part of the public by making newspapers more affordable. She believes this principle still holds true today. Through her work, she hopes to allow those who appreciate art, no matter their economic status, an opportunity to enjoy her designs at home.

Starfangled Press has incorporated many options to purchase artwork during these challenging times. Those options include visiting the studio in person or purchasing online. They even provide curbside delivery. If you would like to learn more about Kristen Necessary and Starfangled Press you can explore the site through this link:

Kristen’s full story as well as other local artists' spotlights will be showcased in the Heart of Brevard’s e-Newsletter, social media and in an online gallery. The gallery includes each artist's interview, video and selected works. The gallery can be viewed here,

The series is open to artists of all genres and mediums located within the Heart of Brevard. If you would like to be featured in this series, please reach to to schedule your interview.

Heart of Brevard 501(c)(3) is a North Carolina Main Street Community, designated by the NC Department of Commerce and Main Street & Rural Planning Center. Heart of Brevard is a recognized leading program among the national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities who share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. All Main Street AmericaTM Accredited programs meet a set of National Accreditation Standards of Performance as outlined by the National Main Street Center.

About the Author: John Harris is recent graduate of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media is a nationally accredited professional undergraduate and graduate level journalism school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. John is currently serving as Heart of Brevard’s intern.

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