Staff Spotlight: Kaleigh Hansen

Kaleigh Hansen joined the Gateway Arts staff in November 2021. Kaleigh holds an associate’s degree in art and a BS in Art Therapy from Lesley University. In her own practice, Kaleigh makes abstract acrylic paintings in which she experiments with a wide range of textures, often adding cornstarch or other materials to give her paint a thicker, even chunky texture. She uses palette knives, brushes, and a Catalyst wedge, to build layered, dynamic surfaces.

Kaleigh was drawn to Gateway Arts because she connected to the work being done here. She believes strongly in the importance of Art in healing and was excited to find an organization that so closely aligned with her values. In her position as Studio A supervisor, Kaleigh manages a smaller program within Gateway Arts that serves artists with psychiatric diagnoses, brain injuries, autism spectrum disorders, and other disabilities. In addition to overseeing two studio sessions per day, Kaleigh is responsible for recruiting, screening, and onboarding new Studio A Artists, maintaining Gateway Arts’ communications with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), working with our financial manager to coordinate contracts, scheduling Studio A artists, and a variety of other administrative duties.

Studio A artists work with a wide range of media, based on their individual interests and practices. Studio A produces a wide variety of paintings, drawings, jewelry, textile works, prints, small sculptures, and hand-decorated décor items. Kaleigh encourages artists to step outside of their comfort zone and try new materials and processes, while helping them develop plans and strategies that make it feel less daunting. In her own work, Kaleigh’s primary concern is process over product and that is also a main component of the environment she is cultivating in Studio A. She aids artists in overcoming their anxieties about whether a piece is going to be “good,” by helping them focus more on the act of making.

Kaleigh describes feeling inspired by the artists she works with, by what they create, and what they share. She admires their passion and consistency and enjoys having the opportunity to work with “so may cool and unique people.”

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