Kristin Dimitrova-Van Alstine | biography | curriculum vitae | press


Kristin Dimitrova was born in 1965 and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria under a Socialist regime. This has had a profound influence on her career as an artist and on her acerbically humorous approach to life.

Her youth was spent in the company of her single mother's peers who were artists, intellectuals and political dissidents. This lively and creative environment was in stark contrast to the outside world of the government's control of knowledge, thought and speech.

Rebellious behavior, like refusing to collect money from fellow students for the Communist Party, began in her early teens. These acts of spirited defiance resulted in long term consequences of government interference and niggling harassments.

Early education tends to be more specialized in Bulgaria compared to America; in 1984 she graduated with honors from the National Gymnasium of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria. This was a five year "high school" program, where she excelled at the fine arts and gymnastics.

Her first place ranking on her college entrance examinations earned her a full five year scholarship as well as a highly competitive placement within the Department of Restoration and Preservation at the Nikolai Pavlovich Higher Institute of Fine Arts, Bulgaria's most prestigious art academy. This departmental program was restricted to only 7-8 people a year. In 1995 she graduated with a Master's Degree as a Magister of Restoration of Works of Arts and as class valedictorian with a grade point average of 5.8 out of a 6 point system.

Her high level of skill and natural talent allowed her to be employed during her college years, and beyond, as an assistant conservator at the National Art Gallery and the National History Museum in Sofia. This granted her the invaluable experience of on-site restorations of icons, murals, paintings and woodcarvings in many of Bulgaria's Orthodox Churches. This exposure has given her an enduring appreciation, and extensive knowledge, of the traditional Eastern Orthodox Icon.

Kristin immigrated to America in 1998 where she settled in Sun Valley, Idaho. Here she started her thriving private practice, Artwork by Dimitrova, providing fine art services of conservation, original still life, portraits, landscapes and murals, as well as her traditional Orthodox Icons. She also began giving private and college instruction in various painting techniques.

Currently she lives on the Russian River in Monte Rio in Northern California. She continues to provide her fine art services to public and private institutions, galleries and collectors. She takes great pleasure in sharing her knowledge and love of art through private lessons and critiques.

Ms. Dimitrova is a Professional Associate Member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historical and Artistic Works, and a member of both the Western Association for Art Conservation and the Bay Area Art Conservation Guild.

Curriculum vitae

Click here for pdf file of Kristin's CV/resume

Press Reviews


- K. Jones for the Idaho Statesman, 1/17/10
Click here for pdf file of Idaho Statesman press clip

"Kristin Dimitrova-Van Alstine paints many different subjects, but in each a hint of her native Bulgaria comes through" - K. Bossick for the Wood River Journal, 12/28/05
Click here for pdf file of full Wood River Journal article

"In our country, this level of accomplishment is akin to graduating best of class at the School of Art at Yale University or the Rhode Island School of Design" - T. Cole for the Idaho Mt Express, 8/9/99
Click here for pdf file of full Idaho Mountain Express article