Flourish and Flair

Visual artist Christina Robinson takes wing

Christina Zimmer Robinson is a rising star in Evansville’s art scene. Like American neo-expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat and Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, she received no formal art training, and it’s working to her advantage. Her expanding body of art — painting, textiles, and especially her figurative sculpture — is highly original, inspired from within.

“She’s a very interesting artist with a wonderful future,” Mary Bower, the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science’s executive director, says. “I see a real progression in her sculpture, which shows she’s excited about that aspect of her work.”

Faces always fascinated her. Growing up in Evansville in a single-parent home, she sketched her mother’s fashion magazine covers to pass the time. Then came art class at Reitz Memorial High School.

“That’s where the seed really was planted for me,” she says.

Photo provided by Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science

After earning a sociology degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, art beckoned while Robinson pursued a biology degree from IU Southeast in New Albany, Indiana. She crafted and sold neck warmers and dabbled in painting and sculpture. Her break came when she landed a portrait in Louisville, Kentucky’s PYRO Gallery.

Overnight, art became her focus.

“Sculpture is where I express what’s going on in my life and have a message to share,” she says. “I spend extra time to make them more elaborate.”

“You can feel the effort and emotion she puts into her pieces,” Evansville art collector Laura Rang says. “They have personality and soul of their own.”

Robinson was a fellowship recipient in the Indiana Arts Commission’s On-Ramp Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator Program in 2021 and won “Visual Artist of the Year” at the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana’s annual Arts Awards ceremony the same year.

Last year saw her largest sculpture yet, the auto-biographical “Broken Bird, You Still Have Wings.” Part bird and part human, it received the Dorothea J. Schlechte Memorial Purchase Award at the 61st Annual Mid-States Art Exhibition. It now is in the museum’s Mid-States gallery.

“We’re delighted to have this piece in our permanent collection,” Bower says. “It’s beautiful, one of our few works of sculpture from Mid-States.”

What lies ahead for Robinson? Think big.

“I would love to create larger sculptures and public art,” she says. “That’s my dream.”



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