Kirsha Kaechele

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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.[1]

Early life[edit]

Kaechele was born in Topanga Canyon, California, and raised in Guam, Micronesia and Japan.[citation needed] Her father was a retired RAND Corporation aerospace engineer and early practitioner of Rolfing.[citation needed]


In 1994, Kaechele began an informal education with travel over land to more than fifty countries in seven years, a hands-on investigation of the idea that life designs itself.[2] 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,[3] psychiatrist Oscar Janiger, artist Peter Nadin and German architects building sustainably on a Sannyasin commune in Maui, Hawaii.[citation needed]

In 1995, she worked with the Shipibo ayahuasca shamans in the Peruvian Amazon.[4] In 1996, she performed with La Mama theater in New York City.[citation needed]

On and off Kaechele attended University of California, Santa Cruz, but in 1999, left just short of graduation to work with VH1 producer Tad Low on a travel show. The production took her to remote southern Lebanon, where she remained with a group of writers, philosophers and historians in Sur (Tyre), a nonpartisan observer in Hezbollah territory.[citation needed]

In 2000 Kaechele moved to New Orleans and joined the downtown art scene, collaborating with artist Matt Vis (Kid Calculator) of Generic Art Solutions on performance art projects and backup dancing for musicians Quintron and Miss Pussycat, MC Tracheotomy and MC Sweet Tea. She was a member of the 9th Ward Marching Band, an avant-gard marching band founded by Quintron.[5]

In 2006 Kaechele founded Life is Art Foundation | KKProjects, an art space composed of six abandoned houses in the St. Roch neighborhood of New Orleans. The foundation invited local and international artists to create site-specific installations utilizing the houses and surrounding ecological and social environment as medium.[6] Exhibitions included artists from emerging to Tony Oursler, Mel Chin, Keith Sonnier and Robert Rauschenberg.[7]

The Life is Art Foundation was founded on an appreciation for ecological systems and natural order. The application of systems-based thinking to life and art was its core mission, as expressed through projects that married art with architecture, ecology, agriculture and human social order. The foundation served as a test site for ideas in these fields.[8]

In 2010 Kaechele left KKProjects and moved to Tasmania to join David Walsh and MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). She transformed four of the New Orleans art installation houses into 24 Carrot, a community garden where children grow, cook and sell organic produce. The project introduces vegetables to a food desert, inspires healthy eating and teaches entrepreneurial skills. The project’s 2018 expansion includes a food truck, designed by children in the program, from which they sell dishes prepared with produce they grow. Menus are created by the kids in collaboration with celebrity chefs.[citation needed]

Kaechele founded MONA’s 24 Carrot program in Tasmania, a sister garden project in partnership with the Tasmanian Department of Education and private funders. 24 Carrot operates in thirteen primary schools in neighbourhoods of greatest need.[9]

Kaechele's curatorial work in the US included a land art exhibition of a living sugar cane field sculpture in rural Louisiana by Norwegian artist Anne Senstad, large-scale, site-specific installations in New Orleans’ City Park and Botanical Gardens for Voodoo Experience,[10] and a medical marijuana farm in California, Life is Art West, which donated all proceeds to the arts. [11]

In 2015 Kaechele returned to New Orleans to stage a gun buyback as a conceptual artwork / performance during the New Orleans Biennial, Prospect 3. It was the largest gun buyback in New Orleans’ history and played with libertarian values by using private enterprise and the free market to create gun control. The exhibition, set in an 8th Ward car wash, was promoted on billboards and rap radio stations throughout the city, and opened with performances by bounce and rap artists Big Freedia, Hot Boy Ronald and Mr.Serv On. The installation included a recording studio, The Embassy, where youth could lay tracks with celebrated local rappers for free. [12] The Embassy, intended to run for three months, was so popular that Kaechele decided to keep it open and build a permanent space to house the studio- as part of a larger school.[citation needed]

Kaechele is building a school in New Orleans with architects Assemble and Room 11 in an abandoned 9th Ward union hall. The free school will serve 14 - 25 year olds and house The Embassy recording studio, a hacking school, art school, beauty school, fashion school and 24 Carrot culinary art school. All subjects integrate science, technology and social enterprise. The MONA project is a conceptual artwork entitled P5 1 L0V3 Y0U.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Kaechele lives in Tasmania and is a curator at MONA.[13]

In March 2014, Kaechele and art collector David Walsh married.[14]

On July 20th 2015 Kaechele and husband David Walsh gave birth to their child Sunday Walsh.[15]


  1. ^ "Life is Art Foundation - KKProjects". Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  2. ^ "T Magazine - New York Times". Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  3. ^ "Lower Ninth Ward Memorial - August 27, 2006". Rodleen Getsic and Kirsha Kaechele, New Orleans. Ghost Images. 
  4. ^ "Kirsha Kaechele - Interview Magazine". 21 November 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  5. ^ "9th WARD MARCHING BAND PAGE". Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  6. ^ "Art Voices Magazine Interview" (PDF). Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  7. ^ "Art Papers Magazine, Review of Allonz a Lafayette by Eric Bookhardt" (PDF). Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  8. ^ "PSFK Talks to NOLA's Kirsha Kaechele of KK Projects - PSFK". 13 March 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  9. ^ "24 Carrot Gardens - 24 Carrot Gardens". Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  10. ^ "Voodoo Experience gets arty with curator Kirsha Kaechele". Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  11. ^ Kennedy, Randy (11 October 2010). "Marijuana Is an Art Patron at Life Is Art Foundation". Retrieved 26 February 2018 – via 
  12. ^ Frank, Priscilla (23 October 2014). "One Artist Is Buying Back The Guns In New Orleans' Tough Neighborhoods". Retrieved 26 February 2018 – via Huff Post. 
  13. ^ a b "Kirsha's portal – Museum - Mona". Mona. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  14. ^ "The Mercury, David Walsh's Wedding a Real Show Stopper by Michelle Paine". Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  15. ^ "Introducing Sunday". 21 July 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 

External links[edit]

  1. Life is Art Website