Artist Statement


Artist Bio

A San Mateo County native, Karen Chew graduated from UC Berkeley in Environmental Design (Architecture, Visual Design). Since 1998, she has exhibited drawings, paintings, and artist books in Italy, Florida, and the Bay Area. Her paintings and mixed media pieces are created in layers of professional grade watercolors, acrylics, etc. over BFK printmaking paper or fine canvas. Chew finds that these archival quality paints and surfaces offer an unlimited range of wet and dry applications, while exploring family and cultural narrative.


Karen L. Chew SHOWS AND EXHIBITS 1998 -2004: Various group shows and exhibits: US, Italy 2005: “Unfolded: The Accordion Wall Book” group show, Drawing Works Art Studio “E” series continued, collage/mixed media, Winright’s Gallery, Jacksonville, FL “Beyond the Bamboo Curtain” series: solo show, Gallery 25, San Mateo, CA New work and continued work, Zanzibar Gallery, Los Altos, CA “Autumn Splendor” series: mixed media, Winright’s, Jacksonville, FL “Winter on the Peninsula”: group show, ARTshare, Gallery 25, San Mateo, CA 2006: “Autumn Splendor” series, paintings, Winright’s Gallery, Jacksonville, FL “Exposed”, mixed media, The Main Gallery, Redwood City, CA “Da Venezia”, ink drawings, Winright’s Gallery, Jacksonville, FL Artist books, group show, Gallery 1212, Burlingame, CA Various Mail Art calls: Italy, France, Belgium, Ukraine 2007: “Brushes with Italy”, group show, Broome Street Gallery, New York City, NY Continued work at Gallery 1212, Burlingame, CA Various Mail Art calls and online exhibits: Italy, France, Belgium, Ukraine “Words for Peace”: traveling exhibit, Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, CA St. Augustine group show 2008-09: Various Mail Art calls and online exhibits: Italy, France Continued mixed media and book arts work at Gallery 1212, Burlingame, CA 2010: Bay Area Book Artists, Olive Hyde Art Gallery, Fremont, CA Works San José Benefit Auction, San Jose, CA Book Arts Jam member show, Los Altos, CA 2011: Bibliophoria II, Sebastopol Center for the Arts Kindred Spirits, Butte College, Oroville, California TechShop San Jose, September Encoded Structures: Interpreting the Story, Handmade & Bound, Nashville, Tenn. PCBA Bookworks, Members' Show, SF Public Library 15th Anniversary Exhibition, SFCB Book Arts Jam member show, Los Altos, CA 2012: Artists' Books Cornucopia III, Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, CO Marin MOCA The Altered Book benefit auction Feminism and the Artist's Book, Central Booking, Brooklyn, NY Book Arts Jam member show, Los Altos, CA 2013-2014: “underCurrents”, Asian American Women Artists, SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA “Bay Area Women Artists Show”, O’Hanlon Art Center and Gallery, Mill Valley, CA “Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here”, a traveling collection of artist books and broadsides, US, UK, Iraq (Beau Beausoleil) Menlo College “85 Years, 85 Artists” - Feb-Mar 2014 “Absence and Presence”, a traveling collection of prints, US, UK, Iraq - 2014 Mail/Art/Book - Feb-Mar 2014, Ex Postal Facto 2014 at San Francisco Center for the Book (Jennie Hinchcliff) Zalop - Feb-Mar 2014, Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia (Michael Orr)   GROUPS AND ASSOCIATIONS June 2006 to present: Art Commissioner, San Mateo County Art Commission Bay Area Book Artists Foothill Letterpress Group   EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE University of California, Berkeley, CA: B.A., Environmental Design: Architecture, Visual Design 1982-89: Residential building design 1989-97: Building inspector, City of Redwood City, CA 1997- 2007: Workshop instructor for San Mateo County Corporate and Community Education Program, College of San Mateo 1997 to present: Karen Chew Designs: Residential and commercial building design, Green Point Rater 1998-to present: Karen Chew Studio: Fine art, including mixed media paintings, artist books Continuing painting and book arts studies: domestic and international Various volunteer services in local schools, PAL events, etc