KATE LASTER is an interdisciplinary artist. Born in Anchorage and raised all over Alaska from Utqiagvik to Juneau, a sense of place is tethered to her practice. San Francisco has become her home. She received a Bachelor of Arts at Evergreen State College in 2015 and in 2019 she received a MA+MFA in History & Theory of Contemporary Art and Studio Art with an emphasis in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Laster currently teaches mixed media Printmaking at the Tenderloin Boys and Girls Club through City Studio and works for SFAI’s Public Education department. She worked as Co-director of the Diego Rivera Gallery, a historic art space at 800 Chestnut Street where she facilitated weekly exhibitions.
Laster has curated the Open Book sequence of exhibitions, including the most recent iteration, Open Book Show V at Root Division and an upcoming exhibit at Arion Press. Collaboration is an essential heartbeat to Laster’s practice. She has worked with Woosh Kinaadeiyí, the SF Poster Syndicate, Resolana, and with her collaborator, Steph Kudisch as Hevra Kadishah (חֶבְרָה קַדִישָא).
In 2018, Laster received the San Francisco Art Institute’s award for Outstanding Graduate Printmaking Student, Outstanding Graduate Student and Graduate Student Leadership. She has shown her work in California, Washington, New Mexico, Alaska and Pennsylvania as well as internationally in Berlin and Osaka.
In 2019, Laster was awarded the Virgil Williams Prize for Outstanding Leadership, was a Headlands Graduate Fellow Finalist and finished her dual masters. Her thesis, GENTRIFICATION OF THE DEAD: How The Displacement Of Cemeteries Paved The Way For Rethinking Monuments In San Francisco, was a site specific praxis of art-making and research.
My art is about the people we carry with us.
There is a cumulative intensity to the gesture of marks I carve as I explore tenderness, the temporary, and generational space between people. Through figurative woodcut, installation and generative intervention I use the lens of my upbringing as a Jewish person in rural Alaska to consider place, displacement, diaspora and adaptation.
Working either monumentally or intimately small, my practice is connected to the weight of the past, human migration and the effervescent exhaustion of romantic love. The movement of remembering while being forgotten takes form in the stories I tell.