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February 5, 2020 | The Clarion
Arts & Life
The goth of Brevard
By Mickayla Smith
Kristen Martinets is a senior at Brevard
College. She is an art major with a double
concentration in art history and painting. She
will be graduating soon in May 2020.
Martinets is from Polk County, North
Carolina and moved around quite a bit. When
her parents separated, she moved to England,
Canada, California, Texas and then finally
back to Polk County, where she began to
dedicate herself to her art.
She always loved art. As a young girl,
her mother, grandmother and great-aunt
persuaded her to become an artist because she
had a natural gift for it. Her mom especially
influenced her daughter to be the person she
is today by teaching her to stand out from the
crowd and embrace her individuality.
Art was first an escape for Martinets, then
through time, it morphed into a passion. She
has a personal sketchbook with an array
of “macabre” and “thought-provoking”
drawings that communicate to the audience.
Drawing and painting was a way for her to
connect with people about the things she has
been through. This was a coping mechanism
for her—finding meaning inside the darkness.
Art is a speechless way to convey ideas
and inspirations to the public. Martinets fell
in love with all art, but the artists that stuck
out to her the most were Toulouse Lautrec,
Salvador Dali and Riley Smiley.
Lautrec was a post-impressionist and
known to paint nefarious people (ranging
from prostitutes to alcoholics) as humans
with feelings. Salvador Dali is her inspiration
for surrealism and Riley Smiley for her line
The painting shown is called “Lucid
Dreamer.” Not shown is a painting titled
“Tattoo Artist,” which was a way to show
her initiation into adulthood. Sadly, the artist
in this painting is no longer with us, which
she found out after getting her painting.
Formnately, the son of the artist found out
about Martinets’s painting and recently
bought it from her.
“Lucid Dreamer” was a process to get over
her fear of candle wax. Before her freshman
year at Brevard, Martinets accidentally
burned half of her face with hot candle wax.
She applied to four colleges but chose
to come to Brevard College after a former
employer’s wife went here, “ft wasn’t too far
away from my family, but far enough to where
they needed to call first," she said.
When taking an art history class with
Professors Robert Bauslaugh (retired) and Anne
Chapin, Martinets fell in love with the subject.
She now knows more about the artists she loves
and can incorporate different styles into her art.
Looking at different artists and learning not to
confine herself to a specific style has broadened
her horizons and expanded her talent.
When first coming to Brevard College, there
was heavy negativity surrounding her for the
first two years. However, through time, things
changed for the better and attending Brevard
College has made her a better person and she
has become more humble.
“ff the campus was a person, 1 would want to
slap it in the face, but f would like to thank it
afterwards because it has done so much for me,”
she said jokingly.
The college has also given her so many great
opportunities to show off her talent and to learn
from inspirational people from the area. One
person, in particular, is Lori Parks.
Parks’s art is weird and “out there,” a lot
like Martinets’s work. She and Parks are
collaborating for her senior project and Kristen
couldn’t be more honored to learn from such an
Her senior project is coming up at the end of
this semester in April. Her individual senior
show is about “being a flaneur of modern
nightlife” — finding your own places to be
accepted and being yourself She chose this
theme because she found her place in the
alternative culture of Asheville.
Her time here at Brevard is coming to an
end soon, but she will leave an impression on
this campus. “Art connects us and expresses
things that cannot be described. Art captures
the beauty and forms of human connection
that seems to be lacking today. I don’t think
we could survive without art,” Martinets said.
She wants people to remember that, “You
can be weird and be a good person and things
take longer than anticipated, but it can’t rain
all the time.”
After graduation, she plans on getting
married to Gavin Wentz of Canton on
October. 31, 2020. She then plans to go
to community college to take a couple of
chemistry classes and wants to earn an online
Psychology degree. After her community
college experience, she wants to get a
Masters in Restorative Art.
Wherever she goes, she will impact the
people around her and allow individuals to
dig deep within themselves to be vulnerable.
Her confidence, ambition, and friendship
allow others to see the vivid light that
shines so bright inside of her. She will move
Kristen Martinets is known around campus for her
artwork and her captivating sense of styie.
“Lucid Dreamer” by Kristen Martinets.