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Biography 

© Domenico Foschi

Born in Los Angeles, sculptor, Karen Schmidt, studied fine art and education at California State University Fullerton, and earned degrees in both disciplines.  She first worked as an elementary school teacher and later became a full-time homemaker while designing and creating banners and installation art for various churches.  Beginning in 1996, she studied under Russian artist and sculptor Simon Kogan, which allowed her to acquire a foundation for understanding the classical approach to the human figure.  In addition to Simon Kogan’s instruction and influence, her sculptures have been greatly informed by the work of such artists as Maillol, Bourdelle, Marino Marini, Barlach, and Henry Moore.  

Karen’s formal artistic training and natural aesthetic sensibility yields compelling work that is able to communicate spiritual truths through form, gesture, and symbol.  Much of the imagery in Karen’s work is derived from the biblical narrative, which both points to specific moments throughout the biblical story and also encompasses greater truths that speak to the realities of the human condition. While minimal in style, it is the gesture and form of each of her figures that enables every piece to visually articulate the emotional and spiritual elements of the stories they reflect; thereby producing works of art that are rich in symbolic and multi-faceted meaning.  

In 1997, Karen was awarded her first commission, “Maasai Mother and Child,” and has since then worked primarily by way of commission.  Some of her other achievements include receiving a Bene Award for “Mary & Elizabeth” in 2006, as well as having her piece “Ugandan Sisters” selected for the National Sculpture Society’s 72nd Annual Exhibition in New York, NY.  Karen is a member of Christians in Visual Arts (CIVA), and the Association of Consultants for Liturgical Space (ACLS).  Since 1996, Karen’s work has been selected and featured at a number of juried and invitational exhibitions nationwide.