Karen Fitzgerald

Karen Fitzgerald
Woodside, NY
Ceramics/Pottery, Collage, Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting, Printmaking, Quilting, Sculpture
After School Program, College/University, Arts/Cultural Organizations, Community Center, K-12 Schools, Library

Over the course of my career, I have had 20 solo exhibitions. My work as an artist has gone hand-in-hand with my teaching. I have experience both as an administrator (Education director for the Queens Symphony Orchestra, Project Director for ArtistCares) as well as broad teaching experience. In 1985 I began teaching at Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning. From the start, I taught in an inter-disciplinary style. This has become my forte - teaching in and through not only academic content but narrative, experiential and imaginative content. Some of the organizations I am affiliated with and/ or have worked with: Association of Teaching Artists, Long Island City Artists, Inc., Flushing Town Hall, Art Connects New York, NYC Department of Education, Queens Library, New York Public Library, Brooklyn Library, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, NYFA, Maple Grove Cemetery, Center for Arts Education, Touchstone Center for Children and the Imagination, and Davis Publications. We are alive in a dynamic time. Art itself is in dynamic flux. As a conversation about the nature of being alive, it is something I am deeply interested in pursuing through teaching and learning.

I am especially interested in the experiences that older people carry with them. The stories of their lives are compelling and interesting, and often unspoken. I like to visit with older people for this reason: the conversations that result are compelling not just in content but also in language and the sense of time that they have lived through. I enjoy facilitating inter-generational groups because it puts these things into high relief. Process and discovery form the basis of my focus as a teaching artist. Reflecting on both of these informs learning and makes visible the connections each person experiences during the process of working with materials. I'm dedicated to a sense of craft and teach in a way that helps students of any age understand the value of learning the technical aspects of any process. I am also deeply invested in a style of teaching that is not simply "art-for-arts sake". I am interested in teaching and learning that is embedded in experience.