Creative DNA

Creative DNA

Kristina Hagman brings exhibit to Torpedo Factory.

Alexandria artist Kristina Hagman, left, talks with a guest at a showing of her work April 4 at the Torpedo Factory.

Alexandria artist Kristina Hagman, left, talks with a guest at a showing of her work April 4 at the Torpedo Factory.

    Artist Kristina Hagman with her painting of Alexandria’s Founders Park.

“My work is about finding joy in the urban environment.”

— Alexandria artist Kristina Hagman


Creativity is in her DNA. Kristina Hagman grew up in a family of performing artists and was encouraged at a young age to pursue her own talent as a painter as a way to overcome her challenges with dyslexia.

“Academia was hard for me,” said Hagman, who recently had an exhibit of her work at the Torpedo Factory. “But my mother and grandmother encouraged and supported me and I was able to have my first professional show when I was 23.”

Hagman grew up in California, the daughter of television actor Larry Hagman and granddaughter of Broadway icon Mary Martin. A resident of Alexandria since 2017, she continues to pursue her work as a life-long oil painter and printmaker.

“My work is about finding joy in the urban environment,” said Hagman, whose exhibit included images from locations across the globe including Japan and Alexandria.

Hagman’s exhibit celebrated her 40 years as an artist. She has lived and traveled around the world, including spending time in Japan, the Pacific Northwest and Santa Fe, New Mexico, before making Alexandria her home.

“As a child I sat painting next to my mother and grandmother who were all about making art,” Hagman notes in her biography. “They helped me get my first exhibitions in Salon style settings that were very successful. But it was in Santa Fe, New Mexico where my professional life truly began. It was an amazing environment in which to be an artist.”

New Mexico was also where Hagman learned the art of printmaking, a skill she honed when she moved to Seattle. Additionally, she has expertise in creating woodblock prints, something she discovered in Japan in the early 80s.

Despite her dyslexia, Hagman took on the challenge of writing a book about her unconventional upbringing. “The Eternal Party: Understanding My Dad, Larry Hagman, the TV Star America Loved to Hate” was published in 2016.

In addition to her own artwork, Hagman helps encourage other artists, particularly those with disabilities.

“A dear friend of mine has a daughter who has severe disabilities,” Hagman said. “I helped her have her first show. I then met other people in the disability community, and through the state of Maryland.”

Hagman and her husband Kevin Murphy live in Old Town and together share four adult children. Her current work is dominated by landscapes and commissioned portraits.