I've been lucky enough to be surrounded by a diverse pool of talented people throughout my life. As a child, my parents always encouraged creativity - whether it was putting my sister and I through private art classes after school from fourth grade on, or buying me multiple instruments until I found one that clicked. My sister is an unbelievably gifted artist, my mother a brilliant writer and teacher, and my father a landscape architect, builder, building inspector, and all-around fixer of broken stuff. During my schooling, I clung to creative types like myself, and always seemed to get the closest to those I admired most - as people, as artists, as innovators, as teachers, as designers...as individuals who made the world a brighter, more vibrant place to live in.
I'm so glad to still be connected to many of these people. Karen Ann Myers is one of the many unbridled talents I got to know during my years at Michigan State University. Towards the end of earning her BFA in Studio Art, we crossed paths and I can honestly say that her artwork is some of the first that impacted me as an adult. Her genius use of colors and textures, and her ability to create painstakingly intricate patterns boggled my mind back then, and almost ten years later, here I am, still absolutely engrossed in the progression of her work. Her portraits showcase her ability to effectively create an environment, a feeling, and a distinct depth within the canvas.
Back in 2006, Karen took part in a group show I curated at an alternative art space I once directed, (SCENE) Metrospace. The exhibit's theme was female body image and perception, titled Skin Deep. Many other friends and colleagues were a part of this show (the incredibly talented Suzanne Clements also comes to mind) and I still remember the effect these strong women and their unique perspectives had not only on me, but also on hundreds of others, both male and female, who viewed the exhibit.
She even did a large-scale portrait of me (back in the days of blond highlights...) that eventually graced the cover of Fem Magazine. The original piece was purchased by my mom, and hangs at our family home in Michigan.
Other than being a working studio artist, Karen also recently became assistant director at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston. She's definitely one to look out for and up to. To find out more about Karen and her incredible work, check out her website.