Karen Schulz

"Like Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold, I strive to use the ordinary elements of design—shape, line, color and texture—to create extraordinary compositions that invite the viewer to enter and linger. I want my work to take the breath away and rivet the viewer to a point of perception where time and place fade away."

Karen Schulz's work is first and foremost a disciplined and careful consideration of formal design elements that results in elegant and sophisticated images. She embraces contrast of all kinds: circles and squares, stasis and movement, light and dark, the flat plane and three-dimensional space, and enjoys the ways these contrasts serve to heighten the viewer's perception.

Powerful, award-winning, and predominantly abstract images emerge from Schulz's improvisational cutting, positioning, and sewing of hand-dyed cloth. Once Schulz sews her compositions together, the quilt is made by layering cotton or wool batting and a backing. Known for her meticulous machine quilting, Schulz uses the quilted and couched line as an additional and critically important design element.

Sewing since the age of nine, Karen Schulz began by creating clothing, then moved to bed quilts, and finally to quilts for the wall. For the last 7 years, Schulz has been spending at least 30 hours a week in the studio while studying intensively with Nancy Crow, one of the pioneers of contemporary art quilts.

Selected Exhibitions & Awards
On the Edge, Solo Exhibition, The Delaplaine Center for the Arts, Frederick, Maryland, 2019
Quilt National, Best in Show, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, Ohio, 2019
Quilt National, Best in Show, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, Ohio, 2015
Quilt National, Jurors Choice Award, The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, Ohio, 2017
Quilts=Art=Quilts, Best in Show, The Schweinfurth Center for the Arts, Auburn, New York, 2018
Quilt National Collection, International Quilt Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2019