Karen Atkinson is a media, installation, public artist, independent curator, and collaborator. Atkinson has published and guest edited a number of publications. Exhibiting and curating internationally, Atkinson’s work has been shown in South Africa, Australia, Europe, Mexico, Canada, throughout the USA, and in the Fifth Havana Biennial in Cuba and the 2011 Biennale de Paris. She has a Ted Talk on hybrid careers for artists at http://www.gyst-ink.com/our-team/. In 1991, she was a co-founding director of Side Street Projects, a non-profit artist-run organization in Los Angeles, which continues to thrive now in Pasadena. Atkinson has held a faculty position at CalArts since 1988. She has taught workshops for over 20 years, both regionally and nationally, for organizations like the California and Boston Lawyers for the Arts, College Art Association, NCECA, The National Association of Arts Organizations, and dozens of additional artist-run spaces and non-profits as well as universities. Karen created the GYST software for artists from scratch and in 2000 she founded GYST as an artist-run professional practices service company. Currently, Atkinson chooses to focus on making life better for artists and less on exhibiting her own work. In her spare time she serves on Boards and Advisory Boards of local and national arts organizations, advises artists on their careers, and tries to get into as much art trouble as possible. To view some of Karen’s projects visit http://www.karenatkinsonstudio.org
My work for the past 20 years has used revealing aspects of history, which have a profound impact on our contemporary culture today. In the current climate where many believe history has no relevance, I find myself continually returning to those aspects that are often hidden or misrepresented in the “official” recordings for posterity. In my varied and diverse approaches to making art; installations; public, curatorial and web projects, the context of the work has an impact on the work’s relationship to the viewer.