Inspired by her father’s work, Krissa, like her brother Joseph, was first introduced to the arts through straw appliqué. She enjoyed working with straw and continued to improve her technique, winning 1st Place in straw appliqué at Spanish Market in both 1994 and 1995. She might well have continued her career in straw if it hadn’t been for a year of study at the Instituto de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua in 1994. It was there that she discovered her love for painting.
At the Instituto, Krissa’s painting teacher encouraged her to paint an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. As she took up the paintbrush, Krissa wondered why she had not done so earlier, as these images were all around her. She loved the medium and quickly adopted it as her own. A second trip to Mexico in 1996 and visits to cathedrals and art museums in Mexico and Michoacan offered a deeper understanding and appreciation for the people and their traditions, which she incorporated into her art. Once back in New Mexico, Krissa was eager to learn new techniques and improve her painting skills. She had the good fortune to work with local artist Michael Bergt who taught her egg tempera, the medium in which she now regularly works. She credits him for challenging her to take her painting skills and techniques to a higher level. Although Krissa’s work is traditional in subject matter, she continues to experiment with various methods and materials.
New ideas and inspiration for her art continued to grow from trips she took. Her travels took her to Puerto Rico, Central and South America, Europe and China.
All of Krissa’s pieces are motivated by a deep sense of spirituality and faith. Upon viewing her work, one senses her close connection with the images that reflect different stages of her life. She often portrays powerful female images that give her strength and solace. Krissa maintains that her father has always taught her and her brother to honor their traditions and keep them alive through a strong family unit, education and art. “I strive to maintain the dignity and authenticity of what was created by my ancestors, not replicating what they did, but using their work as inspiration for my own creations.”
She and Joseph were among the first children exhibitors in Spanish Market in the early 1980s and she has participated in Market ever since. In addition to her awards in straw appliqué, she also won the William Field Design Award in 1997, 2nd Place in large retablos and 3rd Place in small retablos in 2002, 3rd Place in large retablos in 2003 and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art Purchase Award in 2012.
Krissa, her brother Joseph and father Felix participate annually in the Miniatures & More exhibition at the Albuquerque Museum. In 2010 and 201l the three had a joint family show at the Grounds for Sculpture Museum in Hamilton, New Jersey and at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha, Nebraska.
Krissa’s art work is in several museums and in private collections.