“I remember winning my first art contest in kindergarten. I was selected to paint on stage at a big assembly in my school,” she recalls. “In the fourth grade I won a poster contest. The theme had to do with the anniversary of airplanes and first prize was an airplane ride. It was my very first time in a plane and it was a thrill to fly right over my house.” Her Mother, Joy Kasun, is also a talented artist, and on vacations, the two of them set up easels side by side in her mother’s studio. Creativity and the Arts were a part of the Kasun family while growing up.
Theresa studied Design and Painting at the Kansas City Art Institute. Her Impressionistic influence came from the well known painting Professor, Wilber Niewald. “He taught us every aspect of Impressionism. How they painted, why they painted, and what color palettes they used. As a student in his class we had a rigorous program of constantly training our eyes to draw and paint what we saw in reality.” recalls Theresa.
Upon graduating with a BFA in May of 1988, she moved to Chicago. There she worked as an assistant art director at Luna Productions, an advertising agency in Naperville. Realizing that this was not her calling she took up an offer to dress mannequins and create window designs at the Jones Store in Kansas City. A year later she was accepted into the Masters program at the New York Academy of Art and in May of 1992 was awarded an MFA in Figurative Painting. This is what has given her work its distinctive classical accent.
During the years following graduation Theresa sharpened her skills as a painter and found a passion for painting still lives. In 1996 she read an article about Licensed Artists in The Artists Magazine and realized this may be the best way to combine her love of painting with the commercial world of design. “I began walking trade shows, read any industry publications I could find, and talked to whoever would answer my questions.”
Theresa signed her first licensing contract in 2000. She creates rich still life paintings in an old world style. Her images are fresh yet familiar with appeal for both traditional and contemporary. “My style of painting is a synthesis of the many years of training I’ve had, which include Impressionism and techniques of the Old Renaissance Masters.”
Theresa’s designs can be found on products such as oven mitts, kitchen towels, floor matts, aprons, coasters, cutting boards, ceramic tiles, napkins and a variety of other merchandise. One particular wine design, “Ripe from the Vine” has been a top seller at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Linens & Things. Plastic cutting boards and range covers can be found in Target and other select stores throughout the United States.
Recently, Theresa teamed up with author Marcella Bakur Weiner to illustrate and write a children’s book called “Junkfood Bear.” A story designed to entertain and encourage children to eat healthy foods and exercise. This book is due out in December 2007. Theresa and Marcella are currently working on their second book. Theresa resides near the New York City metropolitan area with her three most creative projects to date, her two sons and daughter, a great source of inspiration and motivation.