Columbus Dispatch Sunday Arts Section Review by Nancy Gilson
Nancy Gilson of The Columbus Dispatch wrote a review of my current solo exhibition at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in the 8/15/21 Sunday Arts Section. She wrote, "Painter and printmaker Karen Albanese Campbell has mounted a rich and diverse selection of works that celebrate the Earth and its inhabitants....Through art that depicts natural landscapes and humans that make their way through them, the Columbus artist has captured beauty as well as hardships experienced." As an artist, I am always hoping people will connects with my art and feel something when interacting with it. We all just want to know that somebody "gets" us and I definitely felt that way after reading this review of my exhibit! Thank you Nancy Gilson, for your generous article. Read the entire article for yourself.
My show is up until 9/17/21. The Audubon Center is a complete experience: walking trails, nature exhibits, sometimes you'll find a therapy dog, play spaces and my art! Please let me know if you had a chance to see it! www.dispatch.com/story/entertainment/ar…
"Refuge Refugee" Exhibit at Northern Illinois University Art Museum
I have two large prints included in the new exhibit at Northern Illinois University Art Museum national juried exhibit "Refuge Refugee." I feel honored to be in the company of such amazing artists. My print "Crossing to Safety" can be seen hanging on the black wall in the photo.
The exhibition "Refuge and Refugee" as well as "The Art of Surviving: The Journey of the Karen Refugees in Illinois" organized by the Center for Burma Studies at NIU opens in the Art Museum’s Altgeld Hall galleries Tuesday, August 24, 2021 and runs through November 12, 2021. The exhibitions examine refugee experiences through recreations of home, glimpses of refugee camps, artifacts, textiles, oral histories and photographs as well as contemporary art media grappling with international refugee and immigration crises.
The work of ten artists including one from the Museum’s permanent collection are presented in an examination of the global humanitarian crises as displaced persons forced to flee their native countries attempt to find refuge elsewhere. The artists, moved by current events and news reports, express their shock, horror, and critique of government polices as well as compassion for those impacted by these measures. Several of the artists with immigrant backgrounds relate their own struggles with identity to the inner struggle of missing home and attempting to adapt to a new land. Artists were selected from a national call for entry by the exhibition advisory committee and include: Luciana Abait, Karen Albanese Campbell, Yolanda del Amo, Tere Garcia, Judith Joseph, Rebecca Keller, Eddy A.López, Stephen Walt and Kathy Weaver.
The Art of Surviving: The Journey of the Karen Refugees in Illinois
This exhibition is based on work done by NIU PhD and MA students who either lived within the refugee camps along the Burma-Thai border or who worked with Illinois Karen Refugee communities for the last 15 years. The exhibit looks at life in Burma, life in the refugee camp and life in the United States. The Karen, an ethnic group in southern Burma/Myanmar, has been in conflict with the government since 1949 first calling for an independent state and now representation in national government. During the decades-long conflict and violent military persecution many Karen escaped to refugee camps and/or resettled to a third country. The exhibition ties the minority Karen refugee experience to a global perspective, engaging visitors in a critical dialogue on forced migration and displacement and what visitors can do to advocate for local refugee communities.
A full calendar of events including in-person, hybrid, Zoom virtual program URLs, as well as current COVID-19 visitor guidance may be found by visiting www.niu.edu/artmuseum
Solo Exhibit at The Grange Insurance Audubon Center "Art at the Audubon" Opens July 9, 2021
My exhibit "Relationships with the Natural World" will open at The Grange Audubon Center on July 9, running until September 17. Among the pieces in the show will be new prints and paintings. All of my work, in the actual imagery, blends human figures with natural elements such as skies and flowers. But my work is really about how humans are displaced, disappearing into the nature world, forced to walk or swim to safety or sleeping outside because conventional ideals of home have been elusive. Plants and rocks stand in as metaphors for the way people adapt to their circumstances. Finally, it's about a reality that isn't immediately obvious, revealed only by standing in the right spot. https://grange.audubon.org
"React" show at Wild Goose Creative
In 2019 I received an email inviting me to a possible show that was being proposed to Wild Goose Creative by an artist I only knew from Instagram. Of course I was curious and decided to jump in, not knowing where it would go. "REACT" opened on Friday the 13th of November. This invitational show features work by seven artists. We each submitted one work and then created one new work as a reaction to another artist's work in the show. Kind of a mouthful! In the photo above, you can see the art on the left is the original piece submitted by Columbus artist Hakim Callwood. The piece on the right is the new work I created in reaction to Hakim's piece. I have actually never had the pleasure of meeting Hakim, but my impression of him, based on social media, is that he is friendly, upbeat, energetic and creative with a keen interest in social justice. So I interpreted his work through that lens. My new woodcut, "Crossing to Safety" picks up on the prize in the distance and the hopefulness I feel looking at his painting. "REACT" is curated by Chris Mercerhill, who I have now met in person! Now on view at Wild Goose Creative at 400 W. Rich Street. It's a great show and I'm proud to be a part of it.
New Prints Accepted to the 21st Annual Wills Creek Exhibition of Fine Art of the Allegheny Arts Council
I'm excited to have had three prints accepted into the 21st Annual Wills Creek Exhibition of Fine Art of the Allegheny Arts Council.
"We received 400 entries in 2020 and are so proud of the continued growth of this competition. As our only contemporary-art focused competition of the year, we were thrilled with the caliber of entries in this year’s show and especially in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Our invited artists this year submitted drawings, paintings, mixed media, sculpture and many other mediums which will make it an exciting exhibition!" The exhibit is in Cumberland, Maryland. The Allegany Arts Council will host a LIVE exhibition in their gallery from Saturday, August 29-Saturday, September 26, 2020. The gallery will be open Tuesday-Sunday, 11:00AM-5:00PM daily. Members of the public may view the exhibit any time during those hours. The state of Maryland does require the wearing of face masks and honoring of social distancing requirements. We invite you to stop by and view the exhibition if you are able to join us.
New Print in the Ohio Art League Fall Exhibit
I'm happy to have a recent print accepted to the Ohio Art League Fall Exhibit which will be at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center. This print took most of the summer and is (for me) a new way of working in multiple color linocuts. The subject continues my exploration into humanizing the people who sleep outside, namely refugees and homeless people. This print titled "The Guardians" explores an image found in the news media, as do many of these images in this series. It begins as a photo of a real person, nameless and unknown to me in every way. I was struck by his position, his attempt to bock out the light from his eyes, that he was so tangled up in blankets and surrounded by hundreds of other young men sleeping in a strange public place. Train station? A camp? The street? I began some detective work to figure out who he is. Where did he come from? What life had he left behind? What was valuable to him and what might he be dreaming about? I concluded he might be a young man escaping the conflicts in South Sudan. And so "The Guardians" are the cattle he might have guarded as a boy growing up. These pieces are portals into the lives of people I will probably never have the privilege to meet and get to know.
Bottoms Up Coffee Shop and CO VA CoWorking Space
Dipped my toes in the Franklinton art scene by hanging a selection of my art at Bottoms Up Coffee and CO VA CoWorking Space. Special thanks to Kristen Brown who was fun and very helpful.
Columbus Open Studio and Stage Tour 2019
Fellow printmaker Christine D'Epiro Abbott and I welcomed over 70 people to our studio at Phoenix Rising Printmaking Coop in downtown Columbus, Ohio for the 4th annual Columbus Open Studio and Stage Tour. I really enjoyed talking to such a wide variety of people, many of which had never stepped foot in an artists studio or a printmaking shop. The highlight for me was inviting two teenage ladies to step up and crank the press and then peel back the paper to see what the print looked like. It was a subtle shift, but "what you hold in your hands, you hold in your heart." Maybe they'll be back? Lots of fun! Special thanks to Phoenix Rising members Jessica Depp, Judith Steele, David Pickard and one of our interns Ryan Stoneberger for being on hand to help out through the whole weekend!
"Best in Show" in prints, drawings and photographs at the 74th Annual Ohio Exhibition at the Zanesville Art Museum
Thank you to the Zanesville Art Museum and the juror for the exhibition Scot Philips from the Massilon Museum. A few years back I won the Beaux Art Club's award for best in fiber art for my quilt "Not Enough Sky."
Zanesville Museum of Art's 74th Ohio Annual Exhibition
Moment of Silence will be included in the Zanesville Museum of Art's 74th Ohio Annual Exhibition. I think this print might be my 15 minutes of fame.
The Great Portrait Show at Blockfort
I've been showing two prints at Blockfort's The Great Portrait exhibition. The smaller print, Girl with Red Glasses, is a small 6 color reductive linocut print. I actually created it as a sample for a grant I applied for a few years ago. I didn't get the print, but fell in love with creating portraits AND it was the first reductive print I had ever attempted. The larger print in the show, Moment of Silence, was also a first: the first woodcut I had ever attempted. The show comes down this weekend.
Dispatch Home & Garden Show
An invitation to paint a "mini mural" for the Dispatch Home & Garden Show was a mixed bag. First, I really loved the piece I created. "Consider the Trout Lilies..." has a loosely painted background, very abstract in feel. Meant to mimic the spotted pattern of a trout lily leaf. Broad brush strokes and drips in shades of dark green then overpainted with brown. Then the lilies were painted on with bronze paint for the outlines and each petal painted in white and lavender. The leaves are again abstracted even more. They're just spotted, more like polka dotted in chartreuse green. The colors overall are hushed and gentle. But its location at the Home & Garden Show was so awful that it was beyond awful. With no light to catch the bronze line work, the painting looks flat and boring. Too bad. I think going forward I need to think more about projects like this. If I can't have even the smallest bit of control over where my work is hung or displayed, am I really accomplishing what I set out to do?
Exhibit of New Monotypes at Phoenix Rising Printmaking Coop
I spent the past few months printing this series of monotypes but the original 6" x 6" prints were started over a year ago. These monotypes were all printed from three 12" x 12" woodblocks. Each of the blocks was carved with a similar pattern. Then the prints were created by layering different colors, utilizing textures, scraping, scratching and incising, and in one case, actually sanding the surface. It was an awesome time of experimentation and I can see my way forward creating new prints that will build on these blocks. Please stop in at Phoenix Rising Printmaking Coop during business hours to check them. Thank you!
I spent a good part of the summer carving a large 4' x 3' woodcut black for the BigInk event hosted by Phoenix Rising Printmaking Coop. Our exhibit is coming up in January of 2019 at the Carnegie Gallery at the downtown main Columbus Metropolitan Library. That's a section of my print on the promotional graphic!
Catch one of my Canticle Series at the Ohio Art League Fall Show
"Canticle for a Displaced Child" is on exhibit at the Ohio Art League Fall Show. This year the show is at the Shot Tower on the campus of Fort Hayes School. I think this is my favorite of this series. The watercolor monotype of a starry sky and the orange silk I purchased in Hanoi, Vietnam are set off by the gray art cloth, which is filled with big stitching and actual staples. The hands were inspired by a news photo of a dad holding his toddler during the depth of the recent refugee crisis.
Two Artworks Accepted to the Ohio State Fair
I am please and honored to have two of my mixed media art quilts accepted to the 2018 Ohio State Fair Professional Fine Arts exhibit. The fair runs from July 25 to August 5. The fine arts exhibit is always a great show! Check it out at the Cox Fine Arts Building. (I'm pretty sure my work will be near the front of the space, to the right behind the partition.)
Big Ink Woodcut Print is Coming Along!
Creating a woodcut print of this size is certainly a challenge! A sore finger is forcing me to take a day off. But I feel confident I have plenty of time to finish the carving before the Big Ink event at Phoenix Rising Printmaking Coop on September 29 & 30.
A Call for Art to Benefit Abused Kids for CASA of Franklin County
I'm happy to be donating a painting to benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Franklin County, a nonprofit organization that trains individuals to speak on behalf of abused and neglected children in the Franklin County Juvenile Court System. To help raise both funds for training and awareness of the plight of abused and neglected children in our community, we are hosting Arty Party 2018. The event is May 4th and features a silent auction of student artwork (K-12). A portion of the evening will consist of a live auction of professional art. You can still donate until 4/26/2018.
Creating a BIG Woodcut for Big Ink at Phoenix Rising Printmaking Coop
As an associate member of Phoenix Rising Printmaking Coop, I am one of the six artists chosen to create GIANT woodcuts for the BigInk event in September 2018. This will be BIG in so many ways! First, the woodblock is BIG! It's leaning against a table in my studio right now and it's just so BIG--3'x4'! But, I've never actually made a woodcut print! Looking forward to getting started. Stay tuned!
Solo Exhibit at Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library Art Gallery
Happy to have some of my Table Runner Project art quilts hanging at the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library. These 15" x 60" textile works are created from exotic clothing I have collected at thrift stores. Each piece represents a kitchen table as a place to get to know the person that owned, and cast off, that garment. The series is about hospitality, immigration and the beauty that comes from getting to know people who are from a different place. The library art gallery is in a busy, light-filled part of the library, near the entry. The abundance of natural light sets off the metallic and sparkly embellishments, all part of the original garments.
Starting Off with Some Inspirational Travel
2018 got off to a great start with a trip to Algiers, Tunis, Malta and Sicily. I was especially inspired by the balconies in Algiers, the glimpses of personal life and style available for all to see. Working on some sketches for a series of square balcony paintings. Curtains, plants, shadows, laundry, life. The ruggedness of the Sicilian landscape and light is calling for me to return, so that's on the list. Wander around the Mediterranean and you can see why so many artists have been inspired by the light. Magical.