Karen Searle

Mentor Statement

I create objects, images and garment forms using thread, wire, fabric, handmade paper, and recycled materials in mixed-media assemblage. I am interested in form as a container for thoughts, emotions, desires, and archetypal imagery. I am inspired by  folk art, ritual objects, and traditional textiles. Nature is also a  primary source of inspiration, imagery, and renewal for me.

I have been fortunate to exhibit my work often, both in the US and abroad. I have a master’s degree in visual arts, teaching experience, and art-related business experience. I have a studio practice, occasionally collaborate on commissions, and my life before I was ready to call myself an artist includes a career in arts-related publishing.

As a long-time Mentor I can offer a protégée support on her journey to discovering her authentic expression as she faces obstacles along her path. I can help her to focus and to bring ideas into physical form. I share my knowledge in the areas of writing, exhibitions, residencies, and the business side of being an artist. I look forward to working with a protégée who wishes to deepen her essential expression, whatever her preferred media might be.

top image: How Mother Dressed Me

Artist Statement

I use the tools and techniques of domestic textile-making, or ‘women’s work,’ to assert the validity of the feminine view.The ritual of a repetitive handwork process  is meditative and honors my connections to female ancestors.  I explore light, form and volume in objects that combine soft materials with hard, and delicacy with strength, to move beyond the functionality of craft and disrupt preconceived ideas of “domestic works” and “fine art.” My sense of humor often enters into the working process and becomes part of each piece.