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Art Exhibit on Display at JHU Montgomery County Campus

Kathy Karlson Art Work

Johns Hopkins University’s Montgomery County Campus is featuring the work of artist Kathy Karlson, an artist in residence at Greenbelt Community Center. The art show will be on display through Jan. 20 at 9605 Medical Center Drive in Rockville. All art exhibits on campus are free and open to the public.

Karlson’s paintings reflect layered sources of inspiration from her interest in abstract expressionism, her upbringing near a prairie in Minnesota and her years in the Peace Corps in West Africa.

Hopkins Happenings asked Karlson to tell us about her work.

Hopkins Happenings: Tell us about yourself.

Kathy Karlson: After serving in the Peace Corps in West Africa, I got a master’s and Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota, focusing on art and literature.  After getting a National Endowment for the Arts grant for fiction writing, I had time to write more, and to paint. I have published stories in Barcelona Review, Calyx and other journals, and I have shown paintings at Maryland National Capital Park and Planning, Savage Mill, Touchstone Gallery, Wilson Gallery and other places. My work is in more than 50 private collections.

Hopkins Happenings: Tell us about the exhibit.

Kathy Karlson: The exhibit shows various phases of my work, in which some work grows into landscape. Some shows my exuberance and love of life. 

Hopkins Happenings: What do you hope someone looking at the exhibit experiences or learns from your work?

Kathy Karlson: I hope that my work makes people rejoice in color and wonder about the meaning of art.

Hopkins Happenings: What is your process for creating a work of art? What is your inspiration?

Kathy Karlson: I begin a painting without intent, except to choose gold, blue, or Hooker's green (or whatever invites me at the moment), and then find the relationship between the colors. As a colorist, I love the complicated interplay of hues and movement. I am influenced by everything I see; I am astonished at the beauty that our eyes provide to us in the natural world. I am also inspired by painters such as Mitchell and Richter. 

CATEGORY: The Arts, In The Community