tinastudio2016Photo Credit: Katie Charlotte


When I was a child, my parents had a commitment to take us on long road trips to the far reaches of the west coast to see the Redwood National Park and then on another trip to the far reaches of the east coast to see Acadia National Park.  As a young adult, I backpacked through Glacier National Park, Grand Tetons, Badlands, Mammoth Cave, Rocky Mountains, and the White Mountain National Forest.  As a parent, I have taken my children camping and hiking all along the east coast.  It wasn’t until my graduate studies that I understood these experiences in nature were directly informing my art practice.  I was seeking experiences in nature not being aware that this was my muse all along.  Ever since I have been aligning these two into one practice.  I now know that I am not separate from nature, I am nature.  My artwork is a manifestation of this understanding.


I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Art from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. Desiring further training in the arts I enrolled in The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts in Boston,  Massachusetts. After a year, I knew that my art practice alone was not enough.  I wanted to teach.  After seven years of teaching in the public schools of Brookline, MA, I knew my teaching practice alone wasn’t enough.  What I wanted to do was bring these two important parts of my life, teacher and artist, into one practice.  I enrolled in Goddard College’s self-designed graduate program.  This was the experience which changed the course of my career.  I graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts.  My studies allowed me the time to find my voice in the arts while sparking a new vision for teaching young children.
How I work in my studio is how I mentor my students to work in our classroom studio.  My art class is choice-based.  I mentor children on how to be self-directed, envision ideas, and persist through individual or collaborative project creation. This is in line with a constructivist philosophy of education, which honors children’s ability to construct knowledge for themselves. This flips a traditional model of education from a focus on content delivered to the student, to a focus on the learner making meaning and building understanding. I recognize that there is no such thing as knowledge “out there” independent of the knower, but only knowledge we construct for ourselves as we learn. This experience teaching others is directly connected to my growth as an artist.  I could not have reached my understanding of what an artist has the potential to create without having to teach others to do the same.
Today you will find me maintaining a singular and collaborative studio practice, exhibiting my artwork locally and nationally, and giving back to my community through teaching. I currently reside on James Island, South Carolina with my two sons, husband of 22 years, and our adopted greyhound Obi.

CONTACT:  tina@tinahirsig.com

MORE INFORMATION: Click on this link to reference my CV

CONNECT: Email or find me on Instagram, Facebook (Tina Hirsig Art), and Pinterest



Reverence experienced through nature continually teaches me that I am connected to the earth.  In our current electronic fast-paced world, it’s easy to forget this connection.  Combining drawing, mixed media collage, and sculpture is a method of inquiry on this connection/disconnection.  Observing intently during walks in my suburban neighborhood and paddles in the local Lowcountry tidal creeks often become starting points. Sometimes graphite to paper is all I need to convey these experiences of awe.  Other times I feel moved to build and construct assemblages as an homage to my deep respect for nature.

Q&A with Tina


Why do you do what you do?

I make art to calm my mind and commune with nature.

What are you currently reading?

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (I am considering making a bunker now), Wonder by RJ Palacio (will break and then heal your heart)  Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama (fascinating stories about her life and artist friends)

What cracks you up?

Anything with Will Farrell and Tina Fey.  If they are both in a movie it is a must-see and probably must-own. Anything Monty Python.  One of my most proud moments as a parent is showing my kids Monty Python’s Holy Grail and they cracked up.  I can quote almost every line from the movie Tommy Boy.  So basically anything ridiculous.

How long have you been collaborating with Laura Gaffke?  What is that work about?

Laura and I met at Goddard College during our MFA residencies.  It was an immediate friendship.   We talk weekly on the phone for hours and visit one another once or twice a year (she lives in Connecticut).  Our conversations can run from laughing at ourselves to philosophy on life, to techniques we are trying in our studios.  I believe our great friends are the ones that are continually pushing us to be better people.

What is your favorite thing in your studio?

My roller skates from my years of playing roller derby on the Lowcountry Highrollers.  They remind me of my tougher side and doing things that surprise even myself.

The soundtrack of your life would include what musicians?

Elementary School: Madonna, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springstein

Middle School: Whitesnake (the 45 record no less), Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, anything I could tape off the radio (hahaaa)

High School: Led Zepplin (box set), Aerosmith, Nirvana, U2, Live, Pearl Jam

College: Black Crows, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billy Corgan/Smashing Pumpkins

Adult life: I got into crunchy folk music for a while when I lived in Boston and saw a lot of live music in Cambridge, MA. Recently I have returned to some of my bluesy rock favorites such as Black Keys and Buddy Guy.

You could have a super power.  What is it?  Why?

I LOVE Marvel movies.  I actually like characters like Black Widow who don’t necessarily have a superpower but kick some serious butt with her intelligence and athleticism.  Strong female characters get me fired up!

Most memorable travel experience.

I recently traveled to Ireland with my husband to celebrate 20 years of marriage.  Not only was it a fantastic time together, but also experiencing the landscape moved me greatly.  The rugged cliffs falling into the ocean contrasted with the mellow green hills was unlike anything I have seen or felt.  Traveling and living in other countries for a few months in the summer is my goal in the coming years.

Currently which artists are you obsessed with or inspired by?  Why?

Yayoi Kusama for her originality and honesty with self and others. Betye Saar for her holding true to the fact that art is about ideas and her unwavering work challenging stereotypes.   Aldwyth for her persistence as a working artist for decades despite rejections, not to mention her gorgeous aesthetic and ability to assemble found objects in exciting ways.

Why do you work with objects and found imagery?

My parents are antique dealers so I grew up around fascinating objects hanging from the ceiling and tucked into corners.  They still find treasures for me (such as the watch mold in my drawing titled “Passing Time”).  This fascination with objects has extended to natural objects I gather on walks, paddles, and bike rides.  The objects become a metaphor for reconnection with self and the earth.