Karen Paavola

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Born 1984 Grand Rapids, Michigan


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle


Karen Ann Myers says, “I am investigating the psychological complexity of women through intimate observations in the bedroom. The paintings are intricately painted, decorative interiors that are invented to titillate the viewer. The women in my paintings are women I know personally, and I strive to represent some part of their temperament. They are strong, beautiful, independent and complex. My bedroom, and more specifically my bed, has always been an important physical and psychological space for me. It’s interesting to note that the women in my paintings are not in their own bedrooms, but are actually posed in my bed. The rooms in my paintings do not exist but are fantasies of rooms that function as metaphors for an interior life.”


Karen Ann Myers is an artist, educator and curator. She received an MFA in Painting from Boston University and a BFA in Studio Art from Michigan State University. She is currently serving as the assistant director at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC. In addition, Myers an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston, teaching in the Art Management Department.


Myers has exhibited extensively throughout the country. Her paintings and works on paper exist nationally in private collections and have most recently been exhibited at LUIS DE JESUS gallery in Los Angeles, CA, Robert Steele Gallery in NY, NY, at the Commonwealth Gallery in Boston, MA, the Katzen Arts Center in Washington, DC, the FAB gallery at South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC, Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA and Scoop Studios in Charleston, SC.


Most recently, Myers was nominated to participate in the 2011 South Carolina Biennial at 701 Center for Contemporary Art. This exhibition is the first survey of contemporary South Carolina art since the fifth and last South Carolina Triennial in 2004. The exhibition presented 24 artists from South Carolina currently producing some of the most exciting contemporary art in the state.


“The paintings of Karen Ann Myers explore the contours of female desire in a sex-saturated, pattern-rich contemporary feminist milieu steeped in ennui and longing. Her subjects often confront the viewer with a powerful, confident gaze made all the more jarring by the sexualized context. Using the flattened painterly space as a metaphor, Myers presents myriad aspects of feminine agency with an unsettling clarity. In a sense, she is providing a personal glimpse into interior worlds normally reserved for fiction.” – Mark Sloan, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston


“Myers’ psychologically intense, densely decorated portraits examine our culture’s hypersexualized obsession with glamour and physical beauty, touching on its aesthetic extremes, seductive appeal, and emotional casualties. Each image represents a certain aspect in a sort of collective self-portrait, with her subjects inhabiting a kaleidoscope of loneliness, power struggles, cocktail dresses, and clashing patterns.” – Shana Nys Dambrot, Flavorwire


“In a series of mid-sized fleshy paintings of hyper sexualized young women, the work seamlessly combines heavy flat patterns with figuration. Patterns slide in and out of abstraction, only grounded by the figures in the image. Based in self portraiture and personal narrative, Myers work both questions and confirms the objectification and idolization of youth and sexuality in American culture. The fleshy flatness of pattern and color reflect the soft, subtle handling of the figures, and when the figures are absent, the color and line mimic the curves of the forms. – Julie Henson Daily Serving




Interiors, Greenville Art Museum, Greenville, SC

Sparkle, Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC

A Room of Her Own, Milliken Art Gallery, Converse College, Spartanburg, SC


Intimate Patterns, University Gallery of Georgia Southern University’s Center for Art & Theatre, Statesboro, GA

This is What Makes us Girls, Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC

Intricately Intimate, Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA

Mouthful of Diamonds, Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC


A Room of Her Own, Southeastern Louisiana University Contemporary Art Gallery, Hammond, LA

Intimate Observations, Gallery 307, Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA


A Room of Her Own, Scoop Studios, Charleston, SC


Thinking of You, LUIS DE JESUS, Los Angeles, CA

In Her Bedroom, Scoop Studios, Charleston, SC

Posing Beauty, FAB Gallery, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC


I’m a Girl, Scoop Studios, Charleston, SC


Lithium, Commonwealth Gallery, Boston, MA


Isolation, Lansing Art Gallery, Lansing, MI

Perceptions of Beauty, Gallery 113, East Lansing, MI




Something in Particular, L1 Gallery, Atlanta, GA

North vs. South, Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC

Artfields, The HUB at the Ragsdale Old Building, Lake City, SC

Evolution, Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC


I Have a Secret Wish…, Visual Arts Gallery, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL

Narrative Fragments, Quidley & Company, Boston, MA

Ways of Seeing: Phoneography, Rebekah Jacob Gallery, Charleston, SC

Everything Changes, Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC


My Sweet, Sweet…, Dalton Gallery, Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, GA

South Carolina Biennial 2011, 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, SC

What We Choose, Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC

Outside Perspectives, Capers Hall at the Citadel, Charleston, SC

Fortunate, Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC

Antarctica Revisited, Scoop Studios, Charleston, SC

HeArt Attack, 103 Spring, Charleston, SC


Women Painting Women, Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC

Nothing at the Moment, Outer Space, Charleston, SC


A Friend Indeed, Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC

InCite, Robert Steele Gallery, NY, NY

Off The Wall, Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA

Boston Young Contemporaries, 808 Gallery, Boston, MA


North American Print Biennial, 808 Gallery, Boston, MA

Power of the Diminutive, Rubin-Frankel Gallery, Boston, MA


12 x 12, Bromfield Gallery, Boston, MA

43rd Annual East Lansing Art Festival, East Lansing, MI

Response to the 60’s, Gallery 114, East Lansing, MI


Skin Deep, (SCENE) Metrospace, East Lansing, MI



2010-Adjunct Faculty, Arts Management, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC

2009-Instructor of Printmaking, Redux Contemporary Art Center, Charleston, SC

2008-Teaching Assistant for Richard Raiselis, Painting I, Boston University, Boston, MA

-Teaching Assistant for Hal Reddicliffe, Painting II & III, Boston University, Boston, MA

2007-Teaching Assistant for Hannah Cole, Painting I, Boston University, Boston, MA

-Teaching Assistant for Michelle Murillo, Printmaking, Boston University, Boston, MA

-Teaching Assistant for Jennifer Caine, Printmaking, Boston University, Boston, MA

-Teaching Assistant for Eka Maraneli, Drawing I for non majors Boston University, Boston, MA

2006-Pre-Service Teacher, SMART Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI



2013-Co-Founder, Charleston Supported Art, Charleston, SC

2011-Associate Director, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC

2009-11Executive Director, Redux Contemporary Art Center, Charleston, SC

2006-08Co-Director, Boston Young Contemporaries, Boston, MA

2006-08Assistant to College of Fine Arts Director Jeannette Guillemin, BU, Boston, MA

2006-08Gallery Assistant, Boston University Art Gallery, Boston, MA

2005Photography Lab Assistant, Kresge Art Center, East Lansing, MI

2004-06Weekend Manager, Lansing Art Gallery, Lansing, MI

2004-06Graphic Designer, PUBLICOM INC., East Lansing, MI


2012-Juror, Annual Undergraduate Exhibition at Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC

2011-Juror, Artist of the Year, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC

-Juror, Contemporary Charleston, City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston, SC

-Juror, Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Juried Art Exhibition, City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs

-Judge, MLK Design Contest, The Art Institute, Charleston, SC

2010-Panelist, Arts Advocacy Day, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC

-Presentation of Works, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC

-Presentation of Works, West Ashley High School, Charleston, SC

-Lecturer, Pecha Kucha, Citadel Campus, Charleston, SC



2008-Constantin Alajalov Scholarship, College of Fine Arts at Boston University

2007-Constantin Alajalov Scholarship, College of Fine Arts at Boston University

2006-Ralph Hendrickson Award, Department of Art and Art History, MSU, East Lansing, MI

-Gold Addy Award, 2006 mid-Michigan Addy Competition

-Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Arts, Department of Art and Art History, MSU, East Lansing, MI

2005-Calder Scholarship, Department of Art and Art History, MSU, East Lansing, MI




Hurst, Katie, “Pillow Talk”, Charleston Magazine, February 2013

Pandolfi, Elizabeth, “Southern Artistry”, Art & Antiques, February 2013

Williams, Ivy, “Psyche in the Bedroom: The Paintings of Karen Ann Myers”, Burnaway Magazine, 2013

Rose, Joshua, “Mouthful of Diamonds”, American Art Collector, February 2013

Jackson Curran, Erica, “Myers stays in the Boudoir for her solo show”, Charleston City Paper, January 2013

Huggins, Stacy, “Visual Arts Feature Profile”, Art Mag, January 2013


Rooks, Michael. “Southern Region – Jurors Comments” , New American Paintings – Issue 100, June, 2012

Wall, Pamela. “100 Under 100: The New Superstars of Southern Art” , Oxford American – Issue 76, February, 2012

Gibbons, Claire. “A Contemporary Renaissance” , Charlie Magazine, March, 2012

Fields, John. “I have a secret wish…” exhibition catalogue” , University of Alabama, Birmingham, February 2012

Rose, Samantha. “Art by Creative Emerging Artists” , Charleston Mercury, May 2012


Sloan, Mark. “SC Biennial 2011 Exhibition catalogue”, 701 Center for Contemporary Art, November 2011

Williams, Wyatt “My Sweet, Sweet…” at Dalton Gallery, Creative Loafing Atlanta, February 3, 2011


Matsis, Vikki. “Karen Ann Myers: Paints the Divine Feminine”, Charleston Post and Courier, Nov 10, 2010

Pomonis, Mary Anna. “Karen Ann Myers at Luis De Jesus”, ARTLURKER, July 17, 2010

Stanton, Chris. “Shows: Karen Ann Myers at Luis De Jesus”, Daily DuJour – Art + Culture, July 12, 2010

Henson, Julie. “Karen Ann Myers at Luis De Jesus”, Daily Serving, July 3, 2010

Dambrot, Shana Nys. “Daily Dose Pick: Karen Ann Myers”, Flavorwire, June 30, 2010

Bowers, Elizabeth. “Art in Outer Space”, Charleston Post & Courier, May 6, 2010


Smith, Nick. “The Girlie Show”, Charleston City Paper, Oct 14, 2009

Daliey, Celie. “Studio Visit With Karen Ann Myers”, Daily Serving, May 20, 2009


Mattson, Maria. “Feminist Conversations in Paint”, FEM Magazine, Feb, 2006



Robert Lange Studios