Elyse-Krista AnnaMarie Mische


I am a mixed media artist who makes work ranging from drawings and sculpture to Live Drawings; interactive environments with performative elements. I am attracted to repetitious and tedious techniques that require meditation and time well spent. Slow-moving processes connect my mind and body; aiding to tackle topics like concepts of time, mortality, and memory.

The past haunts, comforts, inspires, and shapes our present and future selves. Learning from the past is important; many of the methods and techniques I use have been adapted from my childhood. Make-believe and crafts like sewing, latch hook, and papier-mâché evoke a sense of nostalgia and honor memories of my youth.

We often remember imperfectly, the mind plays tricks on us, glorifying or marginalizing the importance and specificities of memories. This obscuring fascinates me so I entwine memories with fantastical narratives allowing memory to be visually recorded but only semi-decipherable, and potentially more universally relatable.

By embracing fantasy and day-dream imagery, I make work that liberates my inner mind and allows me to access and treat anxieties, and let’s be honest, we all have anxieties. As we grow older we lose touch with the blissful naivety of our youth and become more aware and guarded in our thoughts and actions. I am a compulsive day dreamer, and by approaching my work with the imagination of a child I pass through constructed barriers of adulthood to explore other realities and hopefully inspire others to do so too.

I am developing an alternate realm called The In-Between, still mostly in my mind, where unreality and reality meet.  In this realm, I take on the identity of make-believe characters and engage in make-believe rituals to address real preoccupations or insecurities. My most frequented character Birdman has the head of a bird, the body of a man, and wears really nice boots. He moves between this world and the otherworld, is strong, resilient, and morally sound. He is a higher power and ideal self. I look up to Birdman, and encourage my viewers to as well, to tackle questions and fears about life and death. I try to understand, defy, and find peace with death by creating mythologies, doctrines, and imaginary worlds.  Birds are other-worldly creatures, standing as an almost heavenly symbol, they float on water, burrow underground, and fly towards the great blue sky.

Since the beginning of human existence people have questioned mortality and have searched through art, religion, science and other means, for answers regarding the purpose of life, the function of time, and the mysteries of afterlife. There is no definitive explanation for human existence so I research a wide variety of perspectives on living and dying to inform my work.  Death is a taboo topic, causing fear and discomfort but it is also part of life and by facing and even embracing it we are better suited to live more fulfilling lives.


Elyse-Krista Mische is a mixed-media artist who contemplates mortality, memory, unreality, and time through her drawings, sculpture, and performance pieces.  She embraces make-believe and craft processes from her youth to preserve her inner child and inspire others to tap into their own imaginations.  Elyse-Krista grew up in St. Cloud Minnesota and now resides in Appleton WI, where in 2011 she earned a B.A. in studio art from Lawrence University. She has completed artist residencies at Holden Village (Chelan, WA 2015), with Elsewhere Studios (Paonia, CO 2016), and at The Charles Adams Studio Project (Lubbock, TX 2016). Since 2010, Elyse-Krista has shown nationally in both group and solo exhibitions including Gulf Coast State College (Panama City, FL), University Wisconsin Marinette (Marinette WI), MacRostie Art Center (Grand Rapids, MN), Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (Brooklyn, NY), and with the James May Gallery (Algoma, WI). She has been commissioned by Goodwill Industries of Wisconsin and the Appleton Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce to create public sculpture and murals. Elyse-Krista is currently a 2017-2018 artist in residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Gatlinburg, TN) and has an upcoming solo show at Abel Contemporary Gallery (Belleville, WI).