Karen Elaine Spencer

Biography

Born in Nelson (B.C.), Karen Elaine Spencer now lives and works in Montreal. She holds a master’s degree in visual art from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and a bachelor’s degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, in Halifax. In 2012, in recognition of her artwork, she was awarded the Galerie La Centrale – Powerhouse Prize.

Her works have been exhibited in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, in particular during Blogueurs en captivité, a Dare-Dare and Folie Culture cooperative initiative, and at the festival Art in Odd Places, in New York, and at the Performance and Intervention Art Festival, in Moncton. She has given spoken words performances at the Westmount Library, at Montreal’s Arts Café and at Calgary’s John Snow House. In the fall of 2015, Galerie B-312 in Montreal will present a solo exhibition of her work entitled letters home / lettres à ma mère.

She has also produced and presented works in the context of artists’ residencies, and was recently at Brooklyn’s International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), where in 2012, she ran the blog Hey Mike, and at Calgary’s New Gallery and Praxis art actuel, 2011. Her participation in the International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul will continue in this vein.

© Karen E. Spencer, Le Devoir, May 22, 2014. – Nous ne reculerons pas, 2015. Photo: Guy L’Heureux

Approach

Using ephemeral interventions, painting, drawing and prints as well as text and spoken words creations, Karen Elaine Spencer explores the power relationships that pervade people’s daily lives, particularly those who have been marginalized by their social condition. At the same time, she maintains a blogging activity that ties in with her artistic projects, thus infiltrating networks where economic and political powers find expression.

The artist’s interest in text and spoken word stems from her concern for intelligibility, for translating one reality into another and for amalgams inherent in all forms of representation. This standpoint always forces her to devise and create bridges between artistic mediums and various means of communication.

Project

In Baie-Saint-Paul, the artist will explore the issues that frequently place rural and urban societies in opposition to each other. She will take inspiration from the headlines in local, national and international newspapers, as well as Web publications and postings on social media. Using a blog, painting, drawing, print and texts, she will examine the current disengagement policies of governments and their repercussions on people living the Charlevoix region.

Karen Elaine Spencer at the 33rd International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul.
Karen Elaine Spencer at the 33rd International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul.
Karen Elaine Spencer at the 33rd International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul.
Karen Elaine Spencer at the 33rd International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul.
Karen Elaine Spencer at the 33rd International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul.
Karen Elaine Spencer at the 33rd International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul.
Karen Elaine Spencer at the 33rd International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul.
Karen Elaine Spencer at the 33rd International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul.
Karen Elaine Spencer at the 33rd International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul.
Karen Elaine Spencer at the 33rd International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul.

For more information:
http://likewritingwithwater.wordpress.com

https://pourraitetrefait.wordpress.com/

© Karen E. Spencer, Sittin’, 2010 to present. With the permission of the artist

 

© Karen E. Spencer, International New York Times, August 21, Clashes Erupt, 2014. Photo: Guy L’Heureux
© Karen E. Spencer, Ukraine Series, 2014. Photo: Guy L’Heureux