Exterior of Center for Arts

Kristin Gjerdset

Kristin Gjerdset Kristin Gjerdset Art Professor Email: kristin.gjerdset@wlc.edu Phone: 414.443.8721

Kristin Gjerdset


  • B. F. A. UW-Stevens Point
  • M. F. A. UW-Milwaukee


There are four main passions that guide my life. The first is my faith as a Christian. It has been such a redeeming gift to my soul, so I try to do the best I can to reflect my gratitude and devotion, and to share it with others. Art, as my second passion, is definitely a tangible way to do that, as it involves the act of physically, intellectually, and spiritually creating a material object others can see and connect with. The third is nature. Making images of the natural world makes sense to me to communicate God; at it is a reflection of Him as an artist. The fourth, which I never expected to do, is teaching. I had an undergraduate college professor who was such an inspiration to me that I felt the call to continue in the same tradition. Teaching at Wisconsin Lutheran College has been a real blessing and avenue for bringing all my passions together.


  • Art 101 Basic Drawing 1
  • Art 102 Basic Drawing 2
  • Art 121 Two-Dimensional Design
  • Art 201 Painting 1
  • Art 202 Painting 2
  • Art 211 Art History 1
  • Art 212 Art History 2
  • Art 306 American Art
  • Art 307 Non-Western Art
  • Art 360 Watercolor
  • Art 379 Advanced Drawing
  • Art 380 Advanced Painting
  • Art 381 Anatomy for the Artist
  • Art 385 Animal Anatomy
  • Art 401 Senior Seminar
  • Art 497 Thesis Exhibition

Research Interests

Viewing an alpine landscape at eleven thousand feet or across an open prairie, one is inclined to look out and above, awed by the vastness and stopped by the realization one is quite small in relation to the environment. Surely large spaces are worthy of our contemplation in thought, word and image. But there is another part of these places, often overlooked, but just as deserving of reverence through creative acts. It is the world underfoot; the world of tiny shrubs and flowers, visited by winged beings and fur bearing creatures. My art seeks to share the small-scale inhabitants I discover looking down on the trails of a rock-strewn terrain or a grass filled path. My goal is to inspire people to take a more intimate look at ground level, discovering the colorful and intricate world of smaller, less noticed, and yet crucial residents of our world. In the process, I hope others will want to preserve and record it with creativity.

To help reach this goal, I coordinate local, national, and international trips with students to foster awareness of God’s gift of the natural world and the importance of continued stewardship. In the process, they gain professional experience creating artwork on location. I have even been able to invite selected students along with me to Wisconsin State and U.S. National Park Artist in Residencies. This, in turn, has resulted in alumni being selected for artist residencies as well, as they have the background from their WLC education.

Traveling outside of the classroom, whether on campus, to a nearby nature center, the Rocky Mountains or overseas to Iceland, is a proven way students can reach their greatest creative potential. 

Scholarly Works

Artist in Residence

ARTservancy, Mequon Nature Preserve - Mequon, WI

Caribou Ranch Open Space - Nederland, CO

Cedarburg Cultural Center - Cedarburg, WI 

Rocky Mountain National Park - Estes Park, CO

Great Basin National Park - Baker, NV

Mesa Verde National Park - Mesa Verde, CO                                                                                

Everglades National Park, U.S. National Park Service - Homestead, FL                        

Glacier National Park, U.S. National Park Service - Apgar, Montana
Whitefish Dunes State Park - Sturgeon Bay, WI


Wildlife Biennial, Miller Art Museum - Sturgeon Bay, WI

Masters as Muses *Third Place Award, Cedarburg Art Museum - Cedarburg, WI

SWAN MKE: Water, Urban Ecology Center - Milwaukee, WI

SWAN MKE: Women and Nature: Nourishing Our Roots - Milwaukee, WI 

Wildlife Biennial, Miller Art Museum - Sturgeon Bay, WI

CrittersInvitational Art Exhibit, Plymouth Art Center - Plymouth, WI
GALEX 50: Juried Art Exhibition, Galesburg Civic Center - Galesburg, IL

GALEX 49: Juried Art Exhibition, Galesburg Civic Center - Galesburg, IL
Aldo Leopold Art Day, Aldo Leopold Foundation - Baraboo, WI
Wildlife Biennial, Miller Art Museum - Sturgeon Bay, WI

Intimate Nature: Kristin Gjerdset and Jamie Bilgo Bruchman, Urban Ecology Center - Milwaukee, WI

Shoreline: Environmental Art Exhibit, Concordia Center for Environmental Stewardship -Milwaukee, WI

The Art of Plankton, The Arts Center - Corvallis, OR 
Through Your Eyes: National Park Service Artist in Residence Exhibition - 
National Park Service Website

The Nature of Three: Diane Bywaters, Kristin Gjerdset, and Laura Ibbotson, Plymouth Arts Center - Plymouth, WI


Wisconsin Lutheran College

  • WLC Art Department Head
  • WLC Schlueter Art Gallery Manager
  • Coordinator and Leader of Art Department trips to Norway, Costa Rica, Italy, France, Ireland, and Iceland
  • Advisor to Art Club
  • Admissions Committee


  • Teacher for annual Humane Animal Welfare Society Art Camp
  • Volunteer as citizen scientist at Great Basin National Park, Urban Ecology Center, Cornell University, and Wehr Nature Center


  • Wisconsin Visual Artists
  • Cedarburg Cultural Center
  • Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators