Kristin Van Ginkel, Artist, Retired Architect

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Kristin is a proud third generation Calgarian. While attending high school, Kristin enrolled in the Grade 10 Drafting class, which ended up being a pivotal decision, as she not only excelled at drafting but loved it. As a result, she decided to pursue an education in Architecture. Beginning her education at Arizona State University, she completed her Architecture degree at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. Having worked as a summer student throughout university, and then successfully writing her architectural exams through Washington, D.C. which enabled her to be licensed throughout Canada and the United States, Kristin quickly moved up the ranks in her profession as an Associate and then Partner with one of the largest Architectural firms in Western Canada.

Over the course of 22 years, Kristin’s focus was on Commercial Architecture; specifically developer based multi-family residential, office, hotel and resort developments, retail, industrial, and land use planning. Her forte was working as a liaison between the developer, community groups and the city to attain land use redesignations and increased development potential. Her passion in architecture was the preliminary design, through sketches, and the coordination of all disciplines involved to bring the project to a successful completion. Her design of the GE Harris Office and Manufacturing building in Calgary for Hopewell Development, was awarded the 2001 BOMA Building of the Year and achieved the highest standard of green energy efficient design. Further to her architectural career, Kristin was involved in the community. She sat on the Board of both Theatre Calgary and The Calgary Opera and was a member of the Advisory Council for the School of Architecture at Montana State University. In 2006, when Paul and Kristin welcomed their daughter, Isabella, Kristin retired from Architecture and took on her new role as a full time ‘mom’.

Kristin has always loved all of the arts, especially painting. Her passion and knowledge for fine art dramatically increased when she married renowned artist Paul Van Ginkel in 2004. Through observing his creativity, discipline and ambition Kristin felt deeply inspired to try her hand at painting and thus created a watercolour series of 8 paintings of Mexican doors. The impressive results (and sales) of this series fuelled her desire to commit to a new career as a fine art painter. Kristin and Paul travelled to Venice, Italy in October 2015 with the primary intention to immerse themselves in this magnificent city and subsequently each create a series of paintings. Below are the 6 watercolours that Kristin painted for their June 2016 exhibition. Kristin is passionately inspired to continue her pursuit of architectural subjects through watercolour paintings and is honoured to be exclusively represented by the Van Ginkel Art Gallery in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

‘As a retired Architect, I have always been drawn to the mystery, beauty, strength, intrigue and history that lies within and behind every door – I imagine who has passed though each one, who lived beyond, who tried to locate, and who closed the door behind them, never to enter again…..’