Crystal was born and raised in a small, rural, mennonite, community in Saskatchewan, Canada. Most Mennonite communities began as farming colonies, with independant German schools. Her ancestors immigrated to Canada from Prussia in the late 1800's and early 1900's to escape government persecution. Canada offered safety and immunity from war service and their own independant education, but during the 1960's the Canadian government broke their promises to colonizers and forced them into public schools. The alternative was heavy fines and jail terms. The farms started to break apart and none of her family farms anymore.
Crystal is the second generation of her family to attend public schools since the government's mandate to be integrated into public school. She never knew farm life and she never knew what is was like to be different from everyone else. For her, it was an ideal situation. Her family never talked about the abuses of the school system nor the hardships of the farm. Mennonites have long been to known to be able to live peacefully with and to forgive others, but hidden from view, some suffer with alcoholism and mental health issues because of the stigmas that occured with talking about emotions.
Crystal was the first of her family to attend University. She spent the first 3 years in the fine arts at the University of Saskatchewan but switched to design and architecture at the University of Manitoba where she graduated with a degree in Enivronmental Design majoring in architecture.
While maintaining a consistent body of artwork, she also works in design and raises a family of two boys with her husband in rural Saskatchewan.
Crystal's current work captures her home province's unique landscapes with oil on canvas. She recognizes that both nature and art are forms of therapy for people struggling with mental health issues. Rather than continue with work that is socially and politically driven, Crystal decided to focus more on helping people be interested in exploring their own backyards out in nature.
Saskatchewan has more to offer than most people driving through realize. Her contemporary impressionism showcases these underrated, yet fascinating otherworldy landscapes. From living skies, to crooked trees, and strange moonlike landings, her focus showcases the strange and beautiful.