Born in Indiana, Christenson holds a BA (1964) and an MFA (1983) from UC Berkeley. She studied ceramics at Greenwich House Pottery, Indiana University, California College of Arts and Crafts and the University of California, Berkeley. Working in the “Cal Pot Shop” during the early sixties and watching Peter Voulkos’ performance demonstrations helped shape her ideas about clay. In the mid sixties she and Sue Newman started a ceramic studio in NYC where she worked until 1971. Returning to California she again helped form a communal ceramic studio where she worked until returning to graduate study in 1979. She is currently a Professor of Fine Art at Washington State University where she coordinates the ceramic area. Her work has been exhibited across the United States, and in China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Spain and Russia. Most recently her work was featured in 75 Gifts for 75 Years, The Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR Fish Bowl Window, Black Fish Gallery, Portland, OR and Unwedged, Pottery Northwest Gallery, Seattle, WA.
Christenson’s work is in the following public collections: Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY; Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR; The Mayer Collection, Scripps College, Claremont, CA; Foshan Ancient Nanfeng Kiln Museum, PR China; San Bao Ceramic Art Institute, Jingdezhen, PR China; San Francisco Arts Commission, CA; Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA; Archie Bray Foundation, Helena MT and
numerous private collections