Creating art has always been an integral part of Karen's life. She finds the process fulfilling and strives to use her art to express socially valuable ideas. She spends her working life helping others to create, and this inspires her own artistic expression.
Karen grew up in Northern California in a redwood forest, just north of San Francisco. Her mom is an artist, and the family used their barn as an art studio. In school, Karen studied design of the environment, historic preservation, and elementary education. As an adult, she realized what a unique opportunity that she had as a child, being able to make art with any supplies at any time. She was inspired to recreate her childhood artistic environment for others.
Combining her childhood experiences, ideas developed through her education, and knowledge gleaned from a diverse professional history, Karen established the Albany Art Room in 2008.
The 2020 pandemic changed the path of the Albany Art Room and Karen's own art practice. Temporarily shutting down the business allowed her the time and space to reignite her passion for making art. As Karen strategically reopened parts of the business, she developed a satisfying new balance between assisting others and working on her own creative pursuits