Karen Kasel Biography 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.
These paintings are about instants such as sharply gulping the frozen winter air for the first time of the season, or the delight in gliding across a lake on ice skates, knowing that only a month ago …it was water.MORE
The Shanty of Misfit Toys is a collaboration between myself, Marlaine Cox, Willie Pike and Kurt Allis. Our shanty is part of a great winter art project called The Art Shanty Projects. artshantyproj…ects.org. We are a little warm shack, stuffed with discarded or rejected stuffed animals, a place for families visiting the project to hang out and play, a place for adults to find some joy.
Our schedule and ruminations are on our blog, shantyofmisfittoys.blogspot.com.
It is up on Medicine Lake until February 17th.MORE