Visual Arts: Ceramics, Mixed Media, Sculpture, Textiles
Karen S. Musgrave wants to change the world. She does this with her art, teaching, lectures, curating, and writing. She was the first person to curate an exhibition of quilts from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, that traveled outside the Untied States to Georgia, Armenia and Kazakhstan. She curated a joint exhibition of American art quilt and Kyrgyz patchwork in Kyrgyzstan. Her quilt, They are our sisters, our daughters, was included in the exhibition Rastros y Cronica: Women of Juarez at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. Her assemblage piece Mirage: Not Always What it Seems received an honorable mention at ARC Gallery in Chicago. Karen’s development as an artist has been animated by an impulse to explore different mediums, the study of cultures, interactions with nature, and being blessed with an active imagination. Her work incorporates the love for texture, storytelling, women’s issues and lots of different materials. It emerges from and exists in a domain of imaginative freedom that is deeply hospitable to diverse influences, concepts and techniques. “To put it simply, I dwell in possibility.”
Her art can be found in many private collections and she has exhibited and taught internationally. She also teaches “Adventures in Mixed Media Ceramics” at ClaySpace Ceramic Arts Center in Lisle, IL. She served on the national boards of the Alliance for American Quilts and the Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc. She is a resident artist and has served on the board of ClaySpace Ceramic Arts Center in Lisle where she also teaches”Adventures in Mixed Media Ceramics.” As the key consultant for the documentary Why Quilts Matter: History, Art and Politics, she served in many roles. She has written many articles and contributed two essays to the book Quilts Around the World by Spike Gillespie. Quilts in the Attic: Uncovering the Hidden Stories of the Quilts We Love (Voyageur Press, 2012) is her first book.