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Karen Willenbrink Johnsen

ARTIST STATEMENT

"I was raised in southwest Ohio, the naturalist daughter of a naturalist father. Many a day were spent on the forays through the woods, exploring fossils, animals and trees-all the while being imbued with a love of the natural world. I’m constantly inspired, revitalized and awed by the power of nature.

My ever-evolving experience with glass began after I received my BFA in sculpture from Ohio University and glass soon became the driving force in my life. I spent several years developing my skills in the Catskill Mountain region of New York, and have lived and worked since 1987 near the Cascade Mountain range in Washington State. Sixteen years of working with glass artist William Morris has taught me to follow my own unique vision and let the enthusiasm of my spirit guide my ideas. My passion for the nature that surrounds me has taken root in my work, forming an indelible kinship.

I have a natural inclination for adventure, and have traveled North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, drawing on the diverse environments of these regions as inspiration for my work. I also find a creative spark in observing diverse varieties of animals, complex interaction with humans, and their relationship with each other. Venues such as dog shows, a rodeo, or an intense bird-watching expedition, most always provides a burst of lasting creative energy.

As I have developed as a glass artist, my conceptual urges have become intrinsic-my work arises from a need to experience and acknowledge the essence of living things. It is the passion that drives me to further explore and intensify the expression of my craft."

After earning her BFA in sculpture from Ohio University, glass quickly became the driving force in Karen’s life. She moved to Washington State in 1987, and soon afterward she began working as an assistant to the legendary glass artist William Morris. Karen’s unique vision and passion for glass is evident in her work, which has been shown extensively in galleries and museums throughout the country. She co-teaches sculpting classes throughout the world with her husband and collaborator, Jasen Johnsen.

 

RESUME

Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen Resume

GALLERIES & EXHIBITIONS
     
2010    

  • Museum of Northwest Art - La Conner, WA - October 16, 2010 thru Jan 8, 2011

     
2009    

  • SOFA WEST : Santa Fe, Represented by Habatat Galleries, Santa Fe, NM
  • 37th International Invitational, Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak, MI
  • Ashes to Ashes: Life and death in contemporary art
  • Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA

     
2008    

  • Glorious Glass - Group Exhibition, The Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FL
  • SOFA : Chicago, Represented by Habatat Galleries, Chicago, IL
  • 36th International Invitational, Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak, MI
  • Collaboration: Karen Willenbrink & Jane Rosen, Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA
  • Owls & Trees, Hooks-Epstein Gallery, Houston, TX
  • Birds in Art - Exhibition, Everhart Museum, Scranton, PA

     
2007    

  • Pilchuck Staff & Alumni Show, Northwind Arts Center, Port Townsend, WA
  • S.O.F.A., represented by William Traver Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • 25th International Glass Invitational, Habatat Galleries, Boca Raton, FL
  • The Surrealist Impulse - New Aquisitions, Tacoma Museum, Tacoma, WA
  • Owls & Trees, Hooks-Epstein Gallery, Houston, TX
  • Owls, William Traver Gallery, Tacoma, WA
  • S.O.F.A. represented by William Traver Gallery, Chicago, IL

     
2006    

  • Best in Show, Kimble Art Center, Park City, UT
  • International Glass Invitational, Habatat Gallery, Deerborn, MI
  • Glass Invitational, William Traver Gallery, Tacoma, WA
  • Northlands Glass, Pismo Gallery, Denver, CO
  • Glass Invitational, Hooks-Epstein Gallery, Houston, TX

     
2005    

  • Best in Show, Tacoma Museum of Glass, Tacoma,WA
  • S.O.F.A, represented by Thomas R. Riley Galleries, New York, NY
  • Group Invitational, William Traver Gallery, Tacoma, WA

     
2004    

  • Fiery Influences, Hanson Gallery, New Orleans, LA
  • National Glass Invitational, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS
  • S.O.F.A., Thomas R. Riley Gallery, New York, NY
  • S.O.F.A.,Thomas R. Riley Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • Vitreous Matter, Silvia Smidt Gallery, New Orleans, LA

     
2003    

  • S.O.F.A., Thomas R. Riley Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • Selected Artists, Mansfield Art Center, Mansfield, OH
  • Glass Weekend, Wheaton Village, Millville, NJ
  • Glorious Glass: Form and Color, Sea-Tac Airport, Seattle, WA

     
2002    

  • Sea Life Installation, Children’s Hospital, Seattle, WA
  • Morris Crew, Houston Center For Contemporary Art, Houston, TX

2001    

  • Flora & Fauna Installation, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA
  • Honey I Shrunk the Art, History of the World Gallery, Camano Island, WA
  • Landscapes, Braisden Gallery, Tampa, FL

     
1999    

  • S.O.F.A., Duane Reed Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • Select Pilchuck Artists, Jenkins-Johnsen Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • Gardens, Chapel Gallery, Boston, MA

     
1998    

  • International Movements in Glass, Auckland Museum, Auckland, New Zealand/ Dowse Art Museum, Wilmington, New Zealand
  • Contemporary Northwest Glass, Port Townsend Art Center, Port Townsend, WA
  • S.O.F.A., represented by Grand Central Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • Glass: Italian Influences, Grand Central Gallery, Tampa, FL
  • From Fire to Ice, Simon Edwards Gallery, Yakima, WA
  • Pilchuck Glass, History of the World Gallery, Stanwood, WA

     
1997    

  • Blooms in Glass, Ovedskloster Castle, Sjobo, Sweden
  • Blooms in Glass, Ascer Maarlensson Gallery, Lund, Sweden
  • Pilchuck Glass, History of the World Gallery, Stanwood, WA
  • New Work, Grand Central Gallery, Tampa, FL
  • Northwest Glass, William Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA
  • Survey of Contemporary Glass, Tustin Renaissance Gallery, Tustin, CA

     
1996    

  • Northwest Glass, Northwest Museum of Art, La Conner, WA

     
1995    

  • Sun Spots, Friesen Gallery, Sun Valley, ID
  • Solo Exibition, Foster White Gallery, Seattle, WA
  • Karen Willenbrink Glass, Malton Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

     
1994    

  • Visions of the Northwest, PISMO Gallery, Denver, CO
  • Karen Willenbrink/Petr Novotny, End Zones, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

     
1993    

  • Glass Exhibition, Foster White Gallery, Kirkland, WA

     
1992    

  • Group Glass Exhibition, Melander Gallery, Palm Beach, FL   

     
     
COMMISSIONS
     
2002    

  • Children’s Hospital, Sea Life Installation, Seattle, WA
  • Dr. Howard Mizuta/Dental Clinic, Flower Installation, Mount Vernon, WA

     
2001    

  • University of Washington Medical Center, Flora & Fauna Install, Seattle, WA
  • American Craft Museum, Flowers, New York, NY

     

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
     
2009    

  • Penland School of Crafts, Instructor, Penland NC
  • Pratt Fine Arts, Workshop, Seattle, WA
  • Eugene Glass School, Workshops, Eugene, OR
  • Aya Glass, Workshop, Kawasaki, JAPAN
  • More Fire Glass Studio, Workshop, Rochester, NY

     
2008    

  • Pilchuck Glass School, Gaffer, Stanwood, WA
  • G.A.S Conference, Demo, Portland, OR
  • Red Deer College, Workshop, Alberta, CAN
  • Eugene Glass School, Workshop, Eugene, OR

     
2007    

  • Eugene Glass School, Workshop, Eugene, OR
  • G.A.S Conference Portland, Demonstration & Workshop, Portland, OR
  • Red Deer College, Workshop, Alberta, Canada
  •      

2006    

  • Haystack Mountain School of Craft, Workshop/Lecture, Deer Isle, Maine
  • Glass Art Association of Canada, Conference Demonstrator, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
  • Eugene Glass School, Workshop, Eugene, Oregon

     
2005    

  • Tacoma Museum of Glass, Residency/Lecture/Demonstration, Tacoma, WA
  • Pittsburg Glass Center, Workshop/Lecture, Pittsburg, PA
  • Red Deer College, Workshop/Lecture, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
  • Penland School of Crafts, Workshop/Lecture, Penland, NC
  • Ox-Bow Summer School of Arts, Workshop/Lecture. Saugatuck, MI
  • Eugene Glass School, Workshop, Eugene, OR

     
2004    

  • Eugene Glass School, Workshop/Lecture, Eugene, OR
  • Glass Art Society, Demonstration, New Orleans, LA
  • Vella Vetro Glass, Workshop, New Orleans, LA
  • Pilchuck Glass School, Sculpting Ideas, Stanwood, WA
  • Red Deer College, Sculpting Ideas, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

     
2003    

  • Australian National University, Workshop/Lecture, Canberra, Australia
  • Jam Factory, Workshop/Lecture, Adelaide, Australia
  • Corning Museum, Demonstration, Corning, NY
  • Glass Art Society, Demonstration, Seattle, WA
  • Museum of Glass, Artist in Residence, Tacoma, WA
  • North Lands Creative Glass, Conference Lecture: "Education Through Perseverance"
  • Masters Workshop, Demonstration, Lybster, Scotland
  • Glassworks, Demonstration/Lecture, Louisville, KY
  • Pittsburg Glass Center, Sculpting Ideas, Pittsburg, PA
  • Pilchuck Glass School, Sculpting Ideas, Stanwood, WA
  • Red Deer College, Sculpting Ideas, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
  • San Jose State University, Workshop/Lecture, San Jose, Ca
  • Bay Area Glass Institute, Workshop/Lecture, Oakland, CA

     
2002    

  • Toyama City Institute of Glass, Workshop/Lecture, Toyama, Japan
  • Big Island School of Glass, Workshop/Lecture, Honakaa, HI
  • University of Miami, Workshop, Miami, FL
  • Lowe Art Museum, Lecture, Miami, FL
  • Pilchuck Glass School, Solid Glass Sculpture, Stanwood, WA
  • Emporia State University, Workshop/Lecture, Emporia, KS
  • Red Deer College, Workshop/Lecture, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
  • Pittsburg Glass Center, Workshop/Lecture, Pittsburg, PA
  • Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts, Demonstrations, Houston, TX

     
2001    

  • Eugene Glass School, Workshop/Lecture, Eugene, OR
  • Big Island Glass, Workshop/Lecture, Honakaa, HI
  • Penland School of Crafts, Sculpting Ideas, Penland, NC
  • Red Deer College, Sculpting Ideas, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

     
1999    

  • Glass Art Society, Conference Demonstration, Tampa, FL
  • Pratt Fine Arts Center, Advanced Solid Working, Seattle, WA

     
1998    

  • Red Deer College, Ideas in Glass, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
  • Pacific Light Conference, Workshop/Lecture, Auckland, New Zealand

     
1997    

  • Penland School of Crafts, Ideas in Glass, Penland, NC
  • Ohio State University, Workshop/Lecture, Columbus, OH
  • Glass Axis, Demonstration/Lecture, Columbus, OH
  • Pilchuck Glass School, Teaching Assistant—Pino Signoretto, Stanwood, WA

     
1996    

  • Penland School of Crafts, Fall Workshop, Penland, NC
  • Harbor Front Center, Int’l Artists Series/Workshop, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Pilchuck Glass School, Teaching Assistant—Pino Signoretto, Seattle, WA—Stanwood, WA

     
1995    

  • Tulane University, Workshop/Lecture, New Orleans, LA
  • Espace Verre, Workshop/Lecture, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Sharadon College, Workshop/Lecture, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Red Deer College, Solid Glass Sculpture, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
  • Pratt Fine Arts Center, Workshop/Lecture, Seattle, WA

     
1994    

  • Glass Art Society, Presenter, Oakland, CA
  • Haystack School of Crafts, Ideas in Glass, Co-Instructor, Deer Isle, ME
  • Red Deer College, Solid Glass Sculpture/Lecture, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
  • San Jose State University, Workshop/Lecture, San Jose, CA
  • Nijima Glass Center, Workshop Assistant—William Morris, Nijima, Japan
  • Pilchuck Glass School, Stinsmuehlen/Teaching Assistant, Stanwood, WA
  • Pratt Fine Art Center, Workshop Glass Sculpture, Seattle, WA

     
1993    

  • Alberta College of Art, Workshop/Solid Glass, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Pratt Fine Art Center, Workshop/Off-Hand Glass Sculpture, Seattle, WA

     
1991    

  • San Jose University, Workshop/Off-Hand Glass Sculpture, San Jose, CA
  • Ohio University, Workshop/Glassblowing, Athens, OH

     

     
EDUCATION
     

  • Raptors of the Pacific Northwest, Padilla Bay Center, Bow, WA 2001-02
  • Mosaic/Felice Nittolo, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA 1998
  • Apprentice to Maestro, Fournasier Chandelier Studio/Bruno Zanetti, Murano, Italy 1993
  • Glass Sculpture/Pino Signoretto, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA 1993-99
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts/Sculpture, Ohio University, Athens, OH 1984

     
AWARDS

  • Award of Excellence, Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak, MI
  • Acquisition, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA 2006
  • Artist Trust and the Washington State Arts Council Grant, Seattle, WA 1999
  • Poncho Scholarship, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA 1999
  • General Scholarship, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA 1998
  • Newcomb Women’s Art Grant, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 1995
  • Corning Award/Outstanding Student, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA 1994
  • Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, Nominated, New York, NY 1994
  • General Scholarship, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA 1993

     
PUBLICATIONS
     

  • City Dog Magazine, "Artist Profile: Hot Stuff", Cathy Herholdt, Spring 2006
  • Glass Art Magazine, “The Nature of Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen", Shawn Waggoner Jan./Feb. Issue 2005
  • Glass Art Society Journal, “About My Art,” Julian Lewis, Fall Issue 1995
  • Glass Magazine, Cover & Article, “Hot House Flowers,” Fall Issue 1994

     
WORK EXPERIENCE
     

  • Member of Glass Artist William Morris’ Team, Stanwood, WA 1987 - 2007
  • Gaffer, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA 1994-03
  • Apprentice to Maestro Bruno Zanetti/Fabio Fournasier, Chandelier Studio,
  • Murano, Italy 1993
  • Assistant to Glass Artists Flora Mace/Joey Kirkpatrick, Stanwood, WA 1989-93
  • Hotshop Technician/Coordinator, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA 1987-94


 

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