Artist Discipline: Visual Arts - Teaching Artists
Karen Light received a BFA in visual arts from Xavier University in 2002 and an MA in Cultural Management from City University, London in 2009. Her MA thesis research examined the potential in the arts to play a crucial component in social justice education by measuring their ability to increase the participation of young people in transforming society. In her own artwork, Karen is deeply exploring moments of truth through paint, oil pastels, images, found objects, and colored pencils-- whatever combination of materials inspires her at the time to make a "sculptural painting." Her experimental process is intertwined with poetry, prose, and essay both as a part of the visual pieces and as accompaniments. She has a studio/gallery in the Oak Park Arts District called Studio Light were she makes, shows, and teaches art. In addition to being a Teaching Artist, she holds the position of Development Associate for the American Friends Service Committee, a peace and social justice organization.
As an Artivator (Artist + Activist + Educator), Karen strives to teach students more about themselves and the world through engaging, creative art-making built around issues that young people face personally and that we all face as a part of society. The experiemental process she carries out in her studio is reflected in the classroom as she encourages students to try new techniques and mixtures of sometimes non-traditional art materials. Karen believes in instilling a sense of ownership in the art process that empowers students to investigate and express their own stories as a means of becoming the authors of their own lives.
More about Karen's work with Urban Gateways: