Radio Interview with Karen Steen

Station WDIY June 7, 2013

Karen Steen Shows Artwork at SoPas Gallery on Mission Street

South Pasadena Review, March 18, 2009

SoPas Gallery will present a solo exhibition of recent work by Karen Steen, an artist with longstanding connections to South Pasadena and the local art community.

Drawing inspiration from the mysteries of life forms invisible to the naked eye Steen translates these microscopic forms and their energy into a collection of small drawings.

Steen's meticulous and precise works on paper are executed with a complex process of paper preparation followed by a more traditional technique of hand drawing in a variety of media.

All this is done on a scale that invites the viewer closer and closer into the mystery of the creative process, much like looking through a microscope into the mystery of life beneath the surface.

In contrast to these intimate drawings, but no less a reflection of this fascination with the rhythms that "lie beneath", Steen has created a number of larger, sculptural mixed media works, which in juxtaposition with the intimacy of the drawings, creates a push-pull for the viewer, pulling you in and then pushing you away as the imagery continually contracts and expands in a dance of scale.

A native South Pasadena, Steen has been absent from the community for the last few years while completing her master of fine arts degree at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

Known locally for her founding and direction of the volunteer run art instruction program at Arroyo Vista Elementary, Steen has continued her passionate commitment to art education in her current home in Bethlehem, PA, teaching art to at risk youth in the B-Smart program. She also teaches after school art workshops at the elementary school in Hellertown, Pennsylvania.

The SoPas Gallery is at 1121 Mission St., home of the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.