Karen Swanker creates intriguing assemblages out of found objects. Enjoy her work and see more from this artist by visiting her website.
Inspired by artist Louise Nevelson and Joseph Cornell, Karen literally finds objects for her assemblage while walking or riding her bike around Marco Island, Florida. “There are treasures at your feet on any street,” she says. Many of the found objects are crushed or broken bits of what were once useful items. She then sorts and paints them with metallic colors and assembles them in boxes.
Hopefully her “Found Objects” will emphasize the importance of respecting the planet (and community) by raising awareness of what is discarded on our earth and also show that beauty can be created by merely stopping to pick up what’s at your feet.
A native Pennsylvanian, Karen retired to Marco Island, Florida in 2004. Always creative and artistic since getting her first box of Crayola crayons, her serious study of art and design began with winning a design contest for the Horsham Township seal in PA.
Awards came in the form of a scholarship for Saturday classes at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia followed by earning an Associate Degree at Hussian School of Art for illustration and advertising also in Philly.
A move to the Pocono Mountains led the way to opening The Village Craftsman, a retail craft supply shop at Blueberry Hill. For the next 11 years, she taught every craft from macramé to stained glass to tole painting. After selling the craft business, she returned to college to finish her art degree. She graduated magna cum laude from East Stroudsburg University with a degree in Fine Arts for Art and studies in computer graphics. During her studies, internship was done at the Gingerbread Gallery in Hawley, Pennsylvania, giving her gallery experience.
After graduating, she worked for Trent Graphics in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania which afforded her further experience in framing and matting. “I wanted to learn all the processes that go into finishing art work.” An opening in the advertising department shifted her focus to designing the pre-sale advertising for the company’s poster sales held at over 600 colleges and universities across the country. She retired after 12 years with the company.
Retirement has allowed her time to find her own style, pursue her creative voice and advance awareness of the need to recycle.
Karen Swanker invites you to connect with her on Facebook.