Karen Kasel

Karen Kasel + Add to Collection

Contact Information

contact name: Karen Kasel
email: karenkasel@gmail.com

location address:

open to public: no


Karen Kasel

1966 Born in Saint Paul, MN to a 16-year-old-girl, I was given up for adoption and went to spend my life growing up in a German/ Norwegian family in the middle of Minnesota’s flat farmlands and forests. I spent most of my time outdoors playing at my Grandparent’s farm.

1973 At age 7, I won first place in a drawing competition at grade school. I had a babysitter who encouraged me to draw. I drew the Charles Schultz character, Snoopy, over and over and over again. Always laying on his back on top of his doghouse, looking at the sky.

1985 Graduated from high school with strong encouragement from my art teacher to go to college for fine arts. I set off to the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.

1986 Fell in love, moved to Chicago. Felt it necessary to reject my farm upbringing, now that I was living in a gigantic city. I worked at a Jewish-German nursing home and led the leisure activities: reading, art workshops, field trips, exercising. Most of the residents were survivors of Nazi concentration camps with the tattoos to prove it. Some of them were remarkable people with lots of stories to tell.

1987 Moved back to Minneapolis. Attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Began a degree in Gerontology, a well-rounded study of aging.

1991 Moved to Palm Springs, California and then to Venice Beach, California. Started making water color paintings of the landscape that was so different from the Midwest.

1992 Moved back to Minneapolis. I attended local drawing co-ops and began a series of acrylic figure paintings. I worked as a chef until 1997.

1996 Two of my figure paintings were accepted in a juried competition at the Mighty Fine Gallery in Minneapolis. I started working with a small group of artists for about 3 years.

1997 Started my own house cleaning business to free up my time so I could make more art and keep exhibiting in small galleries and coffee houses. Bought a house with a huge painting studio.

2000 Sold the house with the huge painting studio (with some sadness) to return to college (again) but this time with the intent to finish what I began in 1985.

2003 Graduated with BFA in painting from the College of Visual Arts in Saint Paul.

2004 Working, working, working to pay off student loans.

2005 First solo exhibition at Marshall Arts Gallery in NE Minneapolis. First child born in April! Ruby Katherine.

2006 Set up new studio in new south Minneapolis home. Began new series of paintings for an exhibit in 2008 at the Phipps Center for Art in Hudson, WI.

2007 Still painting, and a little alarmed at the new paintings; they are a bit scary and joyful, and definitely show my love for the medium. But, I'm going with the flow. Oh, gave birth to my second daughter, Frances Cinnamon, in the front seat of my car.....yeah, really.

2008 Exhibit "Sun Comes Up and We Start Again" at the Phipps Center for the Arts, January 11- February 10, opening reception Friday Jan. 11, 6:30-8:30, ThePhipps.org. Also in The Art Shanty Projects with the Shanty of Misfit Toys, January 19- February 23. artshantyprojects.org and mnartists.org/shanty_of_misfit_toys.


2004 Travel and Study Grant, The Jerome Foundation.

2003 Virginia Rahja Scholarship, The College of Visual Arts, St. Paul, MN.

2000 Presidential Scholarship, The College of Visual Arts, St. Paul, MN.

Exhibitions/Performance History

2012, (forthcoming) Practice. Solo Exhibit, TuckUnder Projects, Minneapolis, MN

2010 Foot in the Door Show. MAEP Gallery at the MIA, Mpls, MN.

2008 Sun Comes Up and We Start Again. Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson WI

Shanty of Misfit Toys. Art Shanty Projects, Medicine Lake, Plymouth, MN

2007 Small Wonder. College of Visual Arts, St. Paul, MN

Shanty of Misfit Toys. Art Shanty Projects, Medicine Lake, Plymouth, MN

Marshall Arts, Minneapolis, MN. Solo exhibition

Box Fresh. No Name Exhibitions @ The Soap Factory, Minneapolis.

Next American City. Stevens Square Center for the Arts, Minneapolis.

Project Mobilelivre. Travelling Bookmobile. Project based in Canada
and the US.

A Small Look at the Big Picture. College of Visual Arts Gallery.

Up. College of Visual Arts Gallery, St. Paul MN.

"Untitled" Video screened at No Name Exhibitions @ The Soap Factory
4th of July Event. Minneapolis MN.

Artology. And Gallery, St. Paul MN. Group.

Mid America Print Council: Small Print Exhibition. DeKalb Gallery,
DeKalb IL. Juried.

Learning to Love You More Project. University of Plymouth Exeter, UK.

"Bathroom" Video screened at Artists Forum, A to Z Gallery, St. Paul MN.

The Artwork. Black Dog Café, St. Paul MN. Solo.

Visual Literacy. Orbit Gallery, St. Paul MN. Juried.

Birchwood Café, Minneapolis MN. Solo.

Flesh. College of Visual Arts Gallery, St. Paul MN. Juried.

The Foot in the Door Show. MAEP Gallery, Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Cross Fire. Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis MN. Juried.

Women and Power. Paul Whitney Larson Gallery, University of Minnesota.

WARM Mentor Exhibit. Katherine Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota.

Go Figure! Bobino Café, Minneapolis MN. Solo.

To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before. Bobino Café, Minneapolis MN. Solo.

Art Mad Women. Northeast Art-A-Whirl, Minneapolis. Group.

Women Artists. Café Caffetto, Minneapolis MN. Juried.

Reinventing Women. Mighty Fine Gallery, Minneapolis, MN. Juried.

Where do you Draw the Line? Minnesota Museum of American
Art, St. Paul MN. Mail Art Exhibit.

Figures as They Are. Coffee Gallery, Minneapolis, MN. Group.

Pink Bicycle Gallery, Minneapolis MN. Solo.


2012 TuckUnder Projects, Minneapolis

2010 MAEP "foot in the Door Exhibit", Minneapolis

2005 Marshall Arts, Minneapolis
2000 MAEP "Foot in the Door Exhibit", Minneapolis
1999 Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis
1998 Paul Larson Gallery, St. Paul
1998 Katherine Nash, Minneapolis
1996 Mighty Fine Gallery, Minneapolis
1994 The Pink Bicycle Gallery, Minneapolis


Fallon, Michael. "The Outsiders" City Pages Vol. 21 #1033, September 20, 2000. Minneapolis, MN

Kassel, Jason. "Introducing Karen Kasel" The Edge. February 2000. Minneapolis, MN.

Alterman, Mary. Review of "To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before". Women’s’ Art Registry of Minnesota Newsletter. February 1997.

"Art-A-Whirl Artists" Northeaster. June 1997. Minneapolis, MN

Biographical Information

Country of Citizenship:
United States

Birth Place:
Saint Paul


Active Place:

Minnesota County:

Artist Information



Artist's Website


mnartists.org Collections Featuring Karen Kasel

MASHUP a+E Issue 15.2: Guest curator photographer Sean Smuda