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For the past several years artist Karen Guancione
has been creating interdisciplinary works--often integrating mixed media constructions, handmade books, sculpture using household objects, printmaking, dance elements (with performers moving within an installation and calling upon viewers to join them), live music, ritual, and recently video--to focus on women’s work and ethnicity, as well as issues of identity and class, and forms of resistance that challenge injustice and inequity. Active in numerous community arts projects, Ms. Guancione successfully lobbied to get bills passed in Congress on behalf of artists while serving as the national president of the Graphic Artists Guild. Other installations have been about prostitution, domestic work, immigration, faith, the search for peace and alternatives to violence and war.
Karen Guancione has been awarded a recent Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Artists and Communities Grant, three New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowships including a 2005 Fellowship in Sculpture, a Ford Foundation Grant and a Puffin Foundation Grant. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and in Italy, Greece, Spain, England, and China. She has an MFA from SUNY Purchase, a BFA from Syracuse University, and studied at Hornsey College of Art in London, England. Her latest curatorial project, Unstitched, Unbound: Imprints for Change presented with The Printmaking Council of New Jersey was made possible through the generous support of a 2006 Arts and Culture Exhibition Grant from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, NYC. Her latest solo exhibition, When I’m Tired of Walking I FLY, which opened in April 2006 is featured as part of The Feminist Art Project.
For a decade she lived and worked as an artist in Italy and Greece, which has greatly influenced her present work. For many years she performed Southern Italian dance and music with the company I Giullari di Piazza, Artists in Residence at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in NYC. As Artist in Residence at the American Labor Museum and the Paterson Museum she created the art of labor, a month-long creation honoring the art of the sewing trades. Her work is included in numerous public and private collections in the United States and abroad. She now teaches art to children and adults, curates numerous exhibitions, is an adjunct professor of art at Montclair State University and Rutgers University and conducts workshops for the Printmaking Council of New Jersey. She has also taught at SUNY Purchase, been a visiting artist and lecturer at Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design and at schools and institutions throughout the United States and Europe.