Kirsha Kaechele (born 1976) is an American contemporary art curator, artist, and practitioner of sustainable architecture. She is founder of KKProjects | Life is Art Foundation.
Life and career
Kaechele was born in Topanga Canyon, California and raised in Guam, Micronesia and Japan. Her father was a retired RAND Corporation aerospace engineer and early practitioner of Rolfing, and mother, a painter. In 1994, Kaechele began an informal education with travel over land to more than fifty countries in a seven-year period- a hands-on investigation of the idea that life designs itself. During this period, she met and mentored with a variety of thinkers, including Biosphere 2 creator John P. Allen, chemist Albert Hoffman, writers Tom Robbins and John C. Lilly, John Perry Barlow, Rodleen Getsic, psychiatrist Oscar Janiger, artist Peter Nadin, musician Mike Watt and a pair of German architects building sustainably in Maui, Hawaii. In 1999, Kaechele lived in remote southern Lebanon and worked with a group of leading writers, philosophers and historians in Sur (Tyre). In 1995, she worked with the Shipibo ayahuasca shamans in the Peruvian Amazon. In 1996, she performed with La Mama theater in New York City.
In 1995, Kaechele began curating large-scale, site-specific installation art with musician Perry Farrell in Los Angeles, including work on the first Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. In 2000, she moved to New Orleans and began collaborating with artist/musicians Quintron and Miss Pussycat on performance art projects.
In 2007 she founded Life is Art Foundation | KKProjects, an art space composed of six abandoned houses in the St Roch Neighborhood of New Orleans. The foundation invites local and international artists to create site-specific installations utilizing the houses and surrounding ecological and social environment as medium. Exhibitions have included artists from emerging to Tony Oursler, Mel Chin, Keith Sonnier and Robert Rauschenberg.
Kaechele also purchased several houses in post Katrina New Orleans for purposes as an art project. The Life is Art Foundation is founded on an appreciation for ecological systems and natural order. The application of systems-based thinking to life and art is the core mission, as expressed through projects that marry art with architecture, ecology, agriculture and human social order. The foundation serves as a test site for cutting edge ideas in these fields.
As of April 2011, Kaechele's houses in New Orleans have been abandoned.
Kaechele's current curatorial work includes a land art exhibition of an acre and a half living sugar cane sculpture in Theriot, rural Louisiana, by Norwegian artist Anne Senstad, as well as twenty, large-scale site-specific installations in New Orleans’ City Park and Botanical Gardens in partnership with Voodoo Experience.
- New York Times T Magazine
- "Lower Ninth Ward Memorial - August 27, 2006". Rodleen Getsic and Kirsha Kaechele, New Orleans. Ghost Images.
- Interview Magazine, Interview of Kaechele by Anne Kennedy
- Art Voices Magazine Interview
- Art Papers Magazine, Review of Allonz a Lafayette by Eric Bookhardt
- PSFK, Interview with Kirsha Kaechele
- Times-Picayune article, Doug McCash
- Times Picayune Article, Doug McCash
- News Week Article
- Times Picayune Website, Doug McCash
- Times Picayune Article, Chris Rose
- Life is Art Website
- Voodoo Experience Website
- Open Library, Rand Publication by Lloyd Kaechele
- Interview with Kirsha Kaechele
- Art Forum Website
- A+D Museum
- Nolaphile Website
- Houston Chronicle
- NY Times Blog
- La Mama Theater Website