Michelle Kohler is a conceptual artist working in Washington, DC. Using the constraints of domesticity, her work emerges at the intersection of art and everyday life. Through text, installation, and performance, Michelle examines the distance between the numinous and the mundane, self and other. Inspired by 17th Century tantric paintings, she uses a typewriter to transcribe spiritual texts into contemplation forms. The mechanical up and down, left and right motion of the typewriter frames her interest in non-dualism. Practicing the ideals set out in texts, she playfully seeks boredom and discomfort as opportunities for creative intervention. Through collaborations, Michelle interrupts accepted stories and habits, often trying to embody the experience of another person.
Michelle received a MAT in Art from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2001 with a BA in Art and Art History (ART). For the past four years, Michelle has been a resident artist in motherhood. As an ARIM artist she has collected a year's worth of number 2 pencils from the playground, gone hunting with her father, and published The Bhagavad Gita Typestracts, the complete Bhagavad Gita written in visual form. She is a decorative painter, a certified yoga therapist, and a former DC Public School teacher. Michelle's work has been shown at Gradient Project Space in Thomas WV. She is the beneficiary of the 2011 McCarthy Tall Tales Prize, a geodesic dome owner, and spent her honeymoon hiking 1000 miles on the Continental Divide Trail. Michelle will be in residence at the Artist House at St. Mary's College of Maryland in the spring of 2019.