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With Christi Zirbel about her first solo artshow in Salt Lake

Date: 16.09.2009

Christi Zirbel is one of the gifted students at the Art Institute of Salt Lake City, Draper, Utah. As her Anthropology teacher, she first impressed me with a case study e-mailed for a discussion on culture shock.
It is my pleasure to publish below her answers to some questions I asked her on the eve of her first solo artshow which will be held at the Art Institute on September 16. The Christi’s colleagues have been waiting to see her original works and to enjoy her talent. The interview is a part of my project “Anthropology of Salt Lake City”, the first results of which will be reported on Friday, September 16th, at the State Conference of the Utah Historical Society.

Lolita Nikolova: Christi, the last thing what I had thought when I started the interviews with Salt Lake artists was that one of them would be my student in Anthropology. And now I am really glad to introduce you as a gifted student of the Art Institute of Salt Lake City. Your examples for our class discussion n culture shock was exceptional and made me turned to you really as a gifted student. When did you start to feel art as your destiny?

Christi Zirbel: Art was something I wanted to pursue ever since I was little. I was one of those kids that could be left when a pencil and paper and be content for hours.

Lolita Nikolova: Like my brother. Would you like to share something about your family?

Christi Zirbel: With the exception of my father my family is very artistic. Because of them I have experienced all kinds of expression through art - from woodworking and welding to sewing and knitting.

Lolita Nikolova: What would like to work after graduating from the Institute?

Christi Zirbel: I am hoping I will be able to find a job as a graphic designer and to be able to focus on corporate identity.

Lolita Nikolova: Tell us more about your art.

Christi Zirbel: My art is really an expression of me in the moments in which I was creating the work. I am all over the place most of the time and draw inspiration from really random things sometime and the only way for me to slow down and express myself in that moment is to get me started on something creative.

Lolita Nikolova: How do your family and your friends look at your art?

Christi Zirbel: Fortunately, I have very supportive friends and family. I generally get really positive feedback from the people I am around, although if there is something that doesn't deserve it, I do get told. They are all very honest with me, which I love.

Lolita Nikolova: Are you feeling nervous before your first solo art show?

Christi Zirbel: I do not feel nervous, probably because our class is very easy going and I don't feel nervous around them.

Lolita Nikolova: What would you like to change in the world?

Christi Zirbel: I am one of those people that strongly feels as though each individual needs to be respected as the person that she/he is. I probably experience more freedoms then I can imagine living in the United States, and am very grateful for that. I would want everyone to be able to feel as though they can work towards accomplishing their dreams, and can be respected as people.

Lolita Nikolova: What would like to change in Salt Lake?

Christi Zirbel: After living the places I have, I feel like Salt Lake has created a little bubble that really shelters them, and I cannot be more grateful for all the things I have experienced in my life. I have noticed there are far less people who are open minded here and maybe that’s from lack of experience. So, I guess I would like people to experience more then Salt Lake has to offer (this means art, food, religions, opinions, environments, everything really).

Lolita Nikolova: Would you like to travel? Do you have in your bucket a list of countries that you want to visit?

Christi Zirbel: I love to travel... I have my unofficial list, but in all reality I tend to take advantage of whatever traveling I can when the opportunities arise. That usually makes my destinations more spontaneous.

Lolita Nikolova: What does mean in you opinion a woman to be happy today?

Christi Zirbel: I feel like I have submerged myself around people who respect me and are willing to allow me to grow as a person and graphic designer, that to me is all it takes to be a happy woman; being supported and have the drive (and being in an environment) that allows me to become a better person.

Lolita Nikolova: If you would like to start from the beginning and to be able to manage your life, what would be now?

Christi Zirbel: I really wouldn't change anything. I think all the hard and unorganized times in my life have made me learn and become a better person. I value notthe most "managed life"

Lolita Nikolova: What would like to tell the young people all over the world, in particular from Bulgaria?

Christi Zirbel: This gets said all the time but, follow your dreams... even if it seems insignificant, or impossible, it’s important to always have a goal. It keeps you going, gives you something to look forward to.

Website of the International Institute of Anthropology:

Anthropology of Salt Lake City:

Teaching anthropology:

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

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