The international flavor of Astoria native Katrina Slade’s life continues to expand.
Later this year, Slade is slated to be featured in an art exhibit in Italy.
Slade graduated from Astoria High School in 2006. She earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at Oregon State University’s Cascades campus in Bend, then a master’s degree in teaching in 2011 at Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.
Since graduating, she has pursued adventure by working as an art teacher in South Korea, Japan and Germany. Her passions for art and travel were inspired in large part by her mother, Rebecca Sentgeorge, a former Astoria and Knappa artist whose teaching career took her to Australia, China and Japan.
In 2018, Slade immigrated to eastern Canada’s maritime provinces. There, she married her husband, Ryan, a Canadian who she met while teaching in South Korea. She now works as a professional artist in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
Slade works mostly in acrylics. Her work is characterized by bright colors.
Fredericton city officials commissioned Slade to set up a public art installation, “Weathergrams for Good,” from July to October 2020. A weathergram is a verse or inspirational saying on a colorful strip of paper, often written in calligraphy.
Slade has been invited to Italy to exhibit something similar in the 13th Florence Biennale, scheduled for Oct. 23 to Oct. 31. The theme of this year’s art fair is “the eternal feminine.”
She is raising money from sponsors to pay for her project, which she calls “The Solution to Everything.” The title refers to kindness. Donors can reach her at email@example.com.
“I strongly feel that my mission as an artist is to spread kindness and activate compassion to as wide an audience as possible,” she said. “I would love to partner with local or national organizations who also value kindness and compassion.”
The indoors exhibit will be at the Fortezza da Basso, a fort that forms part of the 14th-century walls of Florence, now used as a giant exhibition center and concert venue. Her contribution will feature abstract paintings, paper assemblages and sculptures — many including weathergrams which display kindness-focused mantras.
The fair may be postponed to 2022, depending on the status of the coronavirus pandemic, according to organizers.
Ahead of the event, whether it’s held in 2021 or 2022, Slade plans to continue fundraising for the Italy trip. She also hopes to also share her artwork in schools, empowering students to spread kindness through the act of creation and collaboration.