My work is autobiographical. The imagery comes from real-life situations and experiences, but may be combined with forms that are less controlled, less conscious. My work has a narrative quality to it.
There is, however, often an element of mysterya tension between what is known and what is felt.
Recently, I have been exploring the landscape with the accompanying metaphor that natural forces in the environment may have for the self. I have also been dealing more with the domestic arenaboth interiors and exteriorsand the seemingly magical occurrences that come out of everyday experiences.
Karen Spears, a professor of art at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, lives in Lexington. Before joining the EKU faculty, she taught at the University of Louisvillewhere she received her own bachelors degree in fine artsfrom 1983 to 1986. She has also been a visiting artist at Brisons Veor Workspace in Cornwall, England; at the American Academy in Rome, Italy; and in the University of Georgias Studies Abroad program in Cortona, Italy. She received her masters in painting and drawing from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
In 2000, Karen took part in an exhibition called In Living Color, a visual/performing arts collaboration that joined an invitational art exhibit with a Northern Kentucky Symphony performance of Mahlers Symphony No. 6. Her work also has been featured in one-person shows at Galerie Hertz in Louisville, Indiana University Southeast, and Saint Xavier College in Chicago, as well as regional group exhibitions in Chicago, Georgia, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Tennessee. She has received two Al Smith Fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council and two fellowships from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Her works are in the collections of Oklahoma State University, Louisville Gas & Electric Co., McDonalds, Wabash College, the University of Louisville School of Business, and other corporate and private collections, as well as book collections at the Museum of Modern Art, the Olin Library, and the University of Houston, among others.
Karen is also the creator of Untitled (Vortex), the painting used in the Looking at Painting series logo. She is represented by Ann Tower Gallery in Lexington, KY; art4business.com, headquartered in Philadelphia, PA; and the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art in New Harmony, IN.