In 2017 I began studying the fine art of printmaking, gravitating towards multi-layer monotype printing. There are things I can do with monotype printing, that I could never recreate with painting or drawing. The negative and positive effects I can create aren't possible with direct application. What draws me to this type of printmaking are the ephemeral surprises and chance discoveries I find when lifting paper from plate. In 2021 I began augmenting my prints with an additional layer of virtual animation.
Traveling through layers: of time, space, attention, matter, energy- my work is a layered representation of these depths. We’re all traveling toward an ultimate destination. As the aging daughter of a mother who left early, and a father who is living a long but declining existence, my being in the world, and the art I create, is often a metaphysical examination of my journey.
Rust is an exemplification of earth, age, deterioration. Through augmentation of the work, my aim is to free the 2D elements– transcending the immovable– to create autonomous, ethereal sensibilities. I often use music as both inspiration and to aid in the work’s feelings of euphoria.
Karen Hunter McLaughlin is a lifelong Philadelphia artist who has worked in traditional 2-D mediums as well as steel wire sculpture. She is currently exploring the fine art of monotype, the spontaneous yet corrosive properties of rust, and animated augmented reality. Karen's work is often developed across a surface in cascading or ascending layers. Current work themes are a congruence of multilayer prints creating 2-D inhabitable virtual-vistas supported with an additional layer of augmented reality freeing the work from the confines of two dimensions.
Karen is the lead member of Artessa Alliance and directed their rebranding project in 2020 as 15 members transitioned to a new collective, expanding their mission and vision. In 2012-14 Karen worked on the large multi-venue installation "One Year" in collaboration with artists, Brenda Howell, Janice Hayes-Cha, Julie Mann and Kimberly Mehler. Working under two Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grants ('11, '13), the artists spent two years mounting several large-scale installations using hundreds of handmade wire vessels, one for every murder in Philadelphia in 2012. Both a mentoring project and art collaboration, One Year was mounted with assistance from Philadelphia anti-violence group- Mothers in Charge.
Karen has exhibited throughout the United States. Her work is held in many private collections as well a permanent collections at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, East Norriton, PA, and Mission First Projects at Union Eagle Apartments in Bordentown New Jersey, and MBP Apartments in Philadelphia, PA. Karen's art has also been included in several publications including Philadelphia Stories and Extraordinary Gifts, Remarkable Women of the Delaware Valley.
Karen is also the founder and director of KM Digital Design, a graphic and website design and development company since 2010.
2017 - 2020 Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham, PA Multilayered Printmaking - Nicole Dul
2007 Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham, PA Book/Printmaking - Erin Tohill Robin
2002 - 2005 Kate Wolf Workshops, Portland Maine Wire Tinkering - Ellen Wieske, Deputy Director Haystack Mountain School of Craft
1977 - 1981 Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Elkins Park, PA
Awards & Honors
2021 Cheltenham Center for the Arts Print Residency
CCA 80th Annual Member Show, Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham, PA Print Guild Award for Bloodline
2017 CCA Print Guild Award in honor of Esther Rose Fisher for Dogwood Fall
2016 Annual Juried Exhibition, Manayunk Roxborough Art Center, Philadelphia, PA Honorable Mention Award
2012 Philadelphia’s Mothers in Charge Peacemaker Award (with MamaCITA)
2012 - 2013 Leeway Foundation, Art and Change Two grants: January 2012-December 2013, March 2013-December 2013
2012 HatchFund (Formerly USAProjects) Artist Advocacy Grant