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Elena J Schaust | Senior Show

Art work by Elena

Screenshot | Elena J Schaust

A series of acrylic paintings on panel, Screen Shot explores the tenuous nature of texting as a means to communicate impactful information.

Slideshow of Artwork

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Artist Statement

The use of modern text messaging to transmit impactful dialogue is worthy of consideration. A fascination with the implications texting lends to modern communication is at the core of my work with this series. I have built large wooden panels that are to-scale iPhones. Each panel is painted in acrylic, rendered abstractly, and informed by a text chain’s subject matter. Unexpected interviews while compiling text conversations furthered my suspicion that many people experience texting negatively, rather than positively. Each bubble of intimate conversation is hand lettered, a painstaking contradiction to real time texting.

Contemplating the implications of each conversation is a vital part of the process in this series. My own personal relationship to texting as a lifeline was highlighted in 2018 after months of hospitalizations for cancer treatments. It became evident very quickly that the sometimes-tenuous manner of texting could result in wildly varied outcomes. Emotional responses to language in art have historically captured my interest, lending perfectly to the tricky foundation texting can create in relationships. These paintings begin to grasp at the next evolution in human connection through written language.


Elena Schaust lives and teaches in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has completed her BA at Augsburg University as a studio art major, with a psychology minor. Elena has a long background in visual arts, stemming back to the late 1990’s as a professional photographer. Currently, she focuses her creative endeavors in painting. Elena has been intrigued by the complex way people use technology to communicate since the arrival of modern cell phones. This interest drives her to explore language as a means to convey impactful moments. Elena’s current series of paintings inspired by text message conversations were collected through interviews with friends and family.

Virtual Mock-up

Due to COVID-19 the show in the physical gallery space has been delayed. Here is a virtual representation of what it will look like in the Gallery720 space.

Danielle Krysa

This Exhibition is currently Postponed due to Covid-19. It will open when possible.

“as she turned tumors into treasures, she couldn’t help but wonder – do goldfish feel this naked?”– Danielle Krysa

Christensen Gallery: 720 22nd Ave S, Mpls, MN


“How to Stop Being Creative: Excuses, Doubt, and Other Junk”
Talk with Danielle Krysa

Weisman Art Museum: April 8, 7 p.m.

Reception and book signing following the talk. Books on sale in the WAM Shop. Talk is FREE but reservations required.

Fiona & Leona, Farrah, Fawna & Launa – all of them are feminine, beautiful, and a hot mess.

Eight out of ten women will have to share their bodies with uterine cysts and or fibroids at some point in their lives. I am one of those women. I have spent years battling these ugly lumps that continue to grow inside of me. What to do? Exactly what I did with jealousy when I decided to start my art site, The Jealous Curator – instead of allowing these masses to cause anxiety and upset, I flipped the narrative and have embraced them instead. While I await yet another major surgery, I am choosing to envision them – through portraiture – as beautiful, crystal-covered, pink treasures that I’m currently housing. These abstract portraits are not only made up of paint and found images, but also crystals, random objects from the bottom of jewelry boxes, and piles of vintage costume jewelry. Yes, this will be the most sparkly silver lining possible!

Several of the pieces will be hung in the gallery, with spaces for three more to come. I will be using the gallery as a studio, turning tumors into treasures as people stroll past (or stop to watch) on the other side of the glass. This is the most vulnerable work I’ve done to date, so being in a totally vulnerable situation also seems right. Terrifying, but right.


Danielle Krysa is a Canadian artist with a BFA in Visual Arts and a post-grad degree in design. Her combination of found imagery and carefully manipulated strokes of paint create an entirely new story. Coupled with the sly jokes that are their titles, Danielle’s works attempt to transform the everyday into something a little more ridiculous. Danielle is also the writer behind the contemporary art site, The Jealous Curator, and the author of “Creative Block”, “Collage”, “Your Inner Critic Is A Big Jerk”, “A Big Important Art Book – Now With Women”, and “A Big Important Artist – A Womanual”.  Her work is held in private collections in Canada, The United States, Europe and Asia.

The Jealous Curator




APRIl 9 – 19, 2018

Christensen Center Student Art Gallery

Artist Talk: Thursday, April 19, 5:30 – 7 p.m. Christensen Center Student Art Gallery

The Illusion of life mixes acrylic paint with digital art, analyzing how storytelling can be the means to better understanding the human condition.


Famed director, illustrator, animator Hayao Miyazaki suggests ( in the article The idea-the origin of everything) that a story doesn’t truly start with a story being made, it begins with the experiences we have stored up in our lives. “ The stories and original work- even initial project planning-are only triggers.Inspired by that trigger, what rushes forth from inside you is the world you have already drawn inside yourself, the many landscapes you have stored up, the thoughts and feelings that seek expression.”

Kohba merges digital illustration and design to express the emotions that defined the estrangement from my father. The story follows Kohba, A young wolf cub, who in the midst of being deserted by his father, must decide if he will fall into anger or accept the reality of what has come to be. Dealing with themes of abandonment, anger and regret, this body of work uses, color, landscape and character to explore the flaws of the human condition while also showing storytellings significance as a form of expression and communication in society.