Karen Vogl discussing her display at Manley Art Center in October 2017.
Photo by Ann Ostrowski.
PBAA featured guest artist for October is Karen Vogl, someone who has the ability to turn just about anything into art. “Assemblage is creating art from things that are already on our Earth. Rather than taking in new supplies. I take some discarded items and hopefully give the eye another chance to come into view. It is reminiscent of folk art, yet has its own special uniqueness,” says Karen.Though she grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, Karen found herself and her creativity in Southern California. For starters, she taught school there for 36 years. And it was there 20 years ago when she began another career as a producing artist.“I have shown in several venues at the beaches of Southern Cal, the Folk Art Tree in Pasadena and the All City Open at the William Grant Still Art Center. I had a one woman show in a gallery on El Paseo Drive in Palm Desert,” reports Karen. She credits her mentor,Eleanor Diehl, for giving her the confidence to commit to her art. Or, as Karen adds, “Before her inspiration, I had only displayed my work in student shows at the local college.”
Karen came with her husband to Brookings to vacation in the summer of 2002. “We fell in love with the coast and the trees. We looked for a home and found one that we could remodel and live in for the future,” she says. In Brookings, Karen’s work has been displayed at three different one-woman venues. She works in most media,including watercolor, chalk,oils, quilts, felting, basketry,and assemblage. “My assemblage art comes from my association with my mentor, Eleanor. My felting is from studying with an Australian Felt Artist,Polly Sterling. Basketry, I learned from a UCLA teacher and from a basket weaver from Bend, Oregon,” she adds.Karen goes onto say, “I enjoy fiber art and felting. Just give me some old or new fabric and a sewing machine and/or a needle. I will have fun with creating something outside the box. My felting can be light weight or it could be heavyweight,but always done by hand. The use of soap and water and a lot of agitation transforms it into the fiber.”
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