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SVACE Student Feature: Katherine Mulvihill

“Art helps me find balance."

June 23, 2021 by Gabby Johnson
Here is a pencil drawing of a face drawn with fine lines in a style reminiscent of Matisse.

Drawing by Katherine Mulvihill

Kristen Mulvihill is a fashion and photo editor turned multimedia artist. The self-proclaimed SVACE “serial enrollee” caught our attention with her work in Peter Hristoff’s Inventory Drawing course.

After studying visual arts at Brown University, she moved to New York City in the ’90s to work in the fashion and publishing industries. Her work required artistic skills when creating storyboards and collaborating with makeup artists, prop stylists and photographers—many of whom she remembers being SVA alumni and, like herself, having art practices outside the commercial realm.

“In my spare time, I took art classes to keep my skills fluid,” she recounts. “This, along with my magazine background, developed my eye and glossary of images, which continue to inform my work. Between freelance projects, I regularly participated in SVA’s drawing marathons and illustration classes, and attended the Summer Residency Program. During one residency, I participated in a workshop with Peter Hristoff that included the task of creating 100 paintings in one day. It was a daunting but rewarding experience and is a practice that I still employ in my art making. It also marked the beginning of an artistic friendship with Peter and a deep connection to SVA that continues today.”

In the Inventory Drawing course, Hristoff gives word prompts that students respond to with ink and paper. “Morphing several words into one image is a delightful challenge,” Mulvihill says. “The result is often surreal.” Mulvihill’s commitment to her art practice is palpable and inspiring. “Art helps me find balance,” she says. “Art is a reminder that there is still beauty in the world and moments of wonder, however fleeting. Art is a refuge and a revelation.”

To see more of Mulvihill’s work, check out @kmulvinyc on Instagram.

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