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Marc Pachter, director of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington and author of The Making of an American Icon: George Washington and Gilbert Stuart, said “(Karen’s work) …deserves recognition.”
Tom Patterson, author of Contemporary Folk Art: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Stranger from Another World reviews her portraiture, calling them “ … stunning pieces.”
study of a Tulip Bulb
Tom Patterson also says Karen’s paintings are “…outstanding images, meticulously rendered.” He calls them “…gems amid the (visual) jumble.”
Writer Mai Li Munoz says, “Her nearly microscopic representations detail the delicacy of nature’s inhabitants
--Ohio University, Athens, OH
M.F.A. Graduate Studies, Studio Painting.1995
--University of NC Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
B.F.A., Major: Studio Arts- Painting & Printmaking, 1989
Karen Parker was born and raised in the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
Her family consisted of farmers; people who worked with and lived on the land; people who understood the seasons and cycles of birth and death. Under this influence and with an inborn curiosity about the process of things, she grew up intrigued with the workings of the natural world.
At an early age she began to draw: people, animals, everyday scenes. At school, science and biology fascinated her. She wanted to know HOW THINGS WORKED. This drove her mother to distraction as she would come home to find the lawnmower, the clock or some other household item dismantled.
When it came to a career choice there was never any competition. As an artist, she could explore the why and wherefore, the minutia of the natural world and record them with heartbreaking precision. She received her BFA from UNC- Greensboro and her MFA from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
Her art is found in collections, literally, around the world; the most recent sales going to Hong Kong. Her work has won numerous awards and in 1998 the North Carolina Arts Council granted her full funding for her installation work.
She is talented, charming, funny and speaks with a refreshing honesty about life. Look at her paintings, her art, and then just imagine the beauty of how her mind works
Curator New Frontier Gallery