Karen Searle - Bio
Karen Searle has enjoyed a rich
and varied career in the fiber arts.
As an artist, Karen creates sculptures and objects in fiber and mixed media, using tools and techniques of domestic textile-making, or 'women's work’. Her art has been exhibited in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Korea. She was a resident artist at New York Mills Cultural Center, New York Mills, MN, Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino, CA, and Canberra School of Art Fibers Department, Canberra, Australia. She has curated exhibitions and served on jury panels for Korean textile design competitions. She received her MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1999.
As a teacher and mentor, Karen has taught fiber arts classes and workshops at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN and outsate workshops through Hamline University, St. Paul, MN in addition to classes and workshops at Textile Center of Minnesota, Weavers Guild of Minnesota and other local venues. She has presented lectures and workshops to guilds and textile arts conferences since 1976. She also served as a mentor to emerging artists through the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota.
As an author and publisher, Karen was co-founder and later sole owner of Dos Tejedoras Fiber Arts Publications, focusing on cultural traditions in textile arts. Karen also co-founded Araña Press, publisher of The Weaver’s Journal which became an award-winning international quarterly. She has edited newsletters for the Weavers Guild of Minnesota and Textile Society of America, and has written over 120 articles, artist profiles, and exhibition reviews for publications in the US and abroad.
As a lover of cultural textiles, Karen has studied textiles in Central America, Europe and Asia. She catalogued Mayan and preColumbian textiles for the Science Museum of Minnesota. A 1980 museum trip to to study Mayan textiles inspired her to organize annual textile tours to Guatemala, 1993-2017 with Art Workshops in Guatemala. She organized a Textile Study Tour to Korea in 2014 in conjunction with the Korea Bojagi Forum.
As a consultant and advisor, Karen has served on arts organization boards: Textile Society of America, Handweavers Guild of America, Weave A Real Peace, Textile Center of Minnesota, Weavers Guild of Minnesota, Textile Curatorial Council of Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota. She is business consultant to Beyond & Above Publications.
Books by Karen Searle
Knitting Art: 150 Innovative Works from 18 Contemporary Artists, Voyageur Press 2008 (available as an e-book)
Latin American Brocades Dos Tejedoras 1976 with Suzanne Baizerman
Finishes in the Ethnic Tradition Dos Tejedoras 1980 with Suzanne Baizerman
Spun Gold Award for lifetime contribution to the Textile Arts, Textile Center of Minnesota, 2008.
Juror's Awards at art exhibitions, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2016.
Minnesota Women in Communications Publication Excellence Award, 1988.