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Alumni Spotlight: Kristin Mitsu Shiga

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Kristin Mitsu Shiga (BFA 2001) is a metalsmith, educator and arts administrator who finished her undergraduate degree at OCAC after 12 years of stops and starts. Kristin credits the connections she made as part of the OCAC community for sowing the seeds for the rest of her adventures.

Since graduating from OCAC, Kristin established the metals studio at Multnomah Arts Center in Southwest Portland, where she led the program for 13 years.  From a family of educators, she values her role as teacher above all and has had the opportunity to teach at venues all over the US including Penland, Arrowmont and Haystack schools of craft.

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Kristin’s career has spanned a number of industries from arts administration to stop-motion animation. Her past leadership roles include Gallery Director at Museum of Contemporary Craft, Extension Program Director at OCAC and Chair of the Board of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. 

As a maker, Kristin pursues projects that tell a story and actively engage her audience. She is deeply inspired by her participation in various artist collaborations, including the EMMA International Collaboration in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CollaboratioNZ in Whangarei, New Zealand and the Hawai‘i Artist Collaboration

Kristin has shown her work internationally, and is included in several notable collections, including the Kamm Artful Teapot Collection, which is home to the silver teapot she made in OCAC’s infamous raising class. You will find her work published in numerous books and magazines, including Art Jewelry Today, The Art of Enameling, Metalsmith’s 2017 Exhibition in Print, and several of Lark’s 500 Series books. In 2010, she was a featured artist on OPB’s Oregon Artbeat

In 2017, Kristin moved to the Big Island of Hawai‘i to serve as Core Program Director of Donkey Mill Art Center.  She was first introduced to Donkey Mill during an artist residency in 2015, when she was invited to build a metalsmithing studio for the local community. Since then, she has reengaged her studio practice and will be opening her tiny retail studio gallery, ‘Okina Jewelry, behind a gelato shop near Kona in October. Kristin continues to teach metalsmithing and book arts, and currently serves as Education Director for the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG). 

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