by Karnes, Karen (American, b. 1925)
Categorized in Ceramic

Vermont artist Karen Karnes is one of the foremost ceramic artists living in the United States today. She was a student at Black Mountain College during the summer of 1946. In the early fifties she returned as a resident potter. The avant-garde artists, Robert Rauschenberg and John Cage were among the many creative minds at Black Mountain College during this period in history. Another leading figure in ceramic art today, Peter Voulkos also taught a summer course there in the early 1950’s. After leaving Black Mountain College she moved to Stony Point, a rural area one hour from New York City. It was during the twenty-five years spent here that she honed her skills in the traditional manner of pottery. She reveled in her role as the local potter because it allowed for personal relationships. This simple way of life awarded her great pleasure with modest economic rewards. In 1979 Karnes moved from Stony Point to Morgan, Vermont. She began working in much larger scale in response to her new open environment. Her works became sculptural abstractions rooted in Modernism as they naturally evolved. The techniques she had mastered in clay decades earlier allowed the metamorphosis in her art to occur. Karnes has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Vermont Arts Council 1997 Governor?s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the 1988 Visual Arts Fellowship, and the 1990 Medal for Excellence in Craft from the Society of Arts and Crafts. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art are amongst a few of the major museums that have her work in their collections.

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