Christine Baum

Printmaker & Illustrator


Bio

I was born on Long Island, NY, so I grew up drawing and playing on the coasts. Now I live between Annapolis and Baltimore, and I'm happy to be discovering these areas. 

I studied printmaking and illustration at Binghamton University, the Art Students League of New York, and the National Academy Museum and School. But I was also interested in Library Science, so I earned my Masters at Queens College. My life as a librarian was inspired and it eventually lead me to an exciting role at an independent publisher. More literature and stories, but this time I help create them. From there I segued to brand storytelling as a content strategist at a digital agency. I continue to use my schematic-left-side and editorial-right-side brain, but now I freelance. 

Tying up loose ends, I've come full circle to printmaking and illustration. 



Statement

I make art to change my macro environment. We live in a world of microaggressions, implicit bias, and subliminal messages that erode our intrinsic worth. These forces have been calcified and codified into symbols which exist everywhere, even internally. My art making is a response to this. I’m auditing the icons and religious imagery of my girlhood, drawing them over and over until they become differently familiar, as if they’ve been translated. I lovingly draw these themes by hand through a physical and ritualized process. It’s the transcription of inky brayer to plate, paper pressed and reversed, layers accumulated, and witnessing on a wall that reframes the image as something humanized. My art counters dehumanization, and the lotus serves as metaphor. A perfectly immaculate blossom does emerge from murky waters. Despite ripples, reflections, bubbles and distortions, the plant grows upward, thriving both above and below the surface of the water.  I believe there’s magic there, because it separates the clear and conscious from the subconscious, and that’s where our own awareness hovers. While the bloom is arresting, the stalks provide the beautiful architecture.  The lotus are personified versions of us at our best, informing the world around us through our behaviors. We are at once both IN and OF our environment, both cause and effect.