Born in Hawaii in 1961, Karen MacDonald moved to Connecticut at age 3, then
to Maine at age 11. She earned her BA in studio art from Wesleyan University
in 1983 with a focus on typography and printmaking. Her introduction to art
came in high school when she began working summers at The Printing Office at
High Loft as a letterpress printer and compositor. She continued working at
the press through college, eventually designing and illustrating books as well
as printing them.
After college, Karen worked in Boston as a graphic designer and occasional
children's book illustrator. In 1988, she moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, and began
a career in social services. Additionally, her creative pursuits included freelance
graphic and new product design, custom frame building, and courses in print-
making and photography.
In 1996, Karen arrived at the style and focus of her current art practice that
makes expressive and unexpected use of saved objects, found images, and humble
materials. In 2000, she returned to Maine and has been working in assemblage,
collage, and installation since. She supports her art making by cooking at
Chase's Daily in Belfast where she also serves as co-curator of Perimeter Gallery.