Christa Havican: Artist & Bartender Brings "Spirit Animals" to Life

"Christa Monster" at work at The Photo Booth on Montrose
"Christa Monster" at work at The Photo Booth on Montrose
Photo by Simon Gentry

You may have seen Christa Havican shaking cocktails at Kata Robata or competing in local cocktail competitions, but that's not all she does. She's also the artist known as "Christa Monster" in-residence at The Photobooth on Montrose, a combination photo studio, art gallery and performance space established by photographer Simon Gentry.

Over the past few weeks, Christa has been working on an installation called "Once We Were Wild--A Spirit Animal Series", a selection of ridiculously cute creatures on two legs and garbed in people-clothes. If you see "The Monster is In" sign on the door, it means Christa is creating more of the little beasts.

How did a bartender end up with a dual career as an artist? "I began dabbling with art as early as I can remember," said Christa. "I would always bring home stacks of paintings and drawings from school, and when asked what I wanted to be when I got older, my response was an artist or performer. Everyone in my family is involved in some form of art, so it has always been a part of me--so much so that I decided to continue my education in fine art from University of Houston.

Christa hopes that the Shrinky Dink®-like creatures will demonstrate that some art is meant to be interactive and fun, for adults and children alike. The cute creatures are touchable and durable.

Eventually, Christa would like to write and illustrate children's' books. One can imagine how her "spirit creatures" could be characters in a story similar to Babar the Elephant.

The artist, of course, has a spirit animal: a male peacock. "Just like art, peacocks have had a steady presence in my life. Like them, I am colorful, bold and boisterous, but at the same time can surprise you with subtlety & grace."

Silent bids are being taken this week on the spirit animals via email. The final bidding and reception will begin at 6:30 pm on May 11th at the Photobooth on Montrose at 2710 Montrose Blvd. Admission is free, but RSVP is preferred, which you can do online.

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