Mya Kerner


 Photo by  Sebastian Cvitanic


Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Mya Kerner is a multidisciplinary artist based in Seattle, WA. Her work is an exploratory continuation of her family’s lineage of Eastern European foresters. In 2011, Mya received a BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture and Environmental Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. From 2012 to 2014, she worked primarily in cast iron sculpture, living nomadically, and periodically working for her family’s landscaping company. After moving to Seattle in 2015, she completed a Certificate in Holistic Landscape Design at Bastyr University, and now maintains a small garden design business alongside her full-time studio practice. From her ancestral history, permaculture studies, and ecological concerns, Mya investigates the concept of humans as stewards of the earth. Her work oscillates between two- and three-dimensions, investigating materiality, tradition, and mythology through depictions of the landscape.

Artist Statement

I regard the mountains as stoic icons reflected by mortality, records of the movements of the earth and the torrents of the sky. They represent a collision, or maybe, a collaboration of the elements and forces of life. Though continuously rising or falling, the mountains stand, silent, weighing on the shifting fragments of the earth, moving at an incomprehensible rate. In this movement, we have forgotten that civilization is a construct, built from the pieces of deconstructed mythologies. 

I am interested in the stories of the landscape. I wonder what memories the mountains hold, and what indefinable futures are foretold on our deaf ears. Records of denudation captivate me, as these notes present a segmented image of the whole. I depict geological disruptions, carved moments and parts within the landscape. Mountaintops stand crisp against a stark white, reaching for an infinite sky. Descending are scratched lines, which break through the slopes, while sections of white meet eroded surfaces, recalling cooler seasons. These finished pieces linger on the threshold of completion, for what memory is complete upon its conception?

I approach my white panels with turbulent, yet restrained mark making. Mixing oil paint above and across graphite marks, I soften or exaggerate the contours of the landscape. In some areas, the imagery holds stable, while across the scene, a moment of textural play denotes action, erosion or sliding. My wire drawings extrude the contours of the terrain, forming an interdependent framework waiting to be filled by the viewer. The work depicts a fragile, interconnected tranquility of nature, while whispering of unpredictability and grandeur far beyond human conception or control.