Karen Gubitz, a life-long resident of the Chicago area, is a self-taught, nature-inspired, fiber artist. Her works are often made with hand-gathered natural materials from her farm, Harvest Hill Prairie, in western Illinois or with non-traditional materials from many surprising sources. Karen studies at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, Illinois and has, over the last 20 years, studied with various skilled weavers and artisans around the United States. In order to more fully understand her materials she has studied at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois under its Naturalist program. In addition to her sculpture, Karen conducts get-away weaving retreats for women and families called Woven Gatherings at her studio at Harvest Hill Prairie (for more information go to Facebook: WovenGatherings or Karen’s website) and teaches basketry at her studio in Oak Park, IL and other creative centers.
I am inspired by nature – by the pure, simple and beautiful forms and textures that nature presents. My work explores the expressive possibilities of combining natural and non-traditional materials with methods that have a deep and rich history in working with fiber – loom and hand weaving, twining, plaiting, coiling, netting, crochet and knitting. I find a meditative tranquility from the repetitive nature of craft work. The evidence of my hands in my work communicates a sense of peace and happiness to the viewer, and the most common response is delight and joy followed by a desire to reach out and touch. It is important that my art be accessible, approachable and livable, and that my audience find beauty and pleasure.
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