Meet the Artist


 

Meet Artist Karen Kaffenberger

Why did you name your studio "Three Trails"?

The name is rooted in the history of the Kansas City area. Back in the mid 1800s, this was the jumping off point for those heading west. It is the only place in the nation where the California Trail, the Oregon Trail, and the Santa Fe trail all share a common alignment. 

What is your goal with your art? What do you hope to attain? 

As for how I want people to interact with my art, I want to start with what David Brooks, Op-Ed columnist at the NY Times said in his opinion piece, “When Beauty Strikes”:

“These days we all like beautiful things. Everybody approves of art. But the culture does not attach as much emotional, intellectual or spiritual weight to beauty. We live, as Leon Wieseltier wrote in an essay for The Times Book Review, in a post-humanist moment. That which can be measured with data is valorized. Economists are experts on happiness. The world is understood primarily as the product of impersonal forces; the nonmaterial dimensions of life explained by the material ones.” 

I seek to change that perception about beauty and show how it does have emotional, intellectual and spiritual weight. Beauty leads to mystery, to truth. I have found that beautiful art is a great leveler amongst the barriers and obstacles that divide us as humans and can give us a place of dialogue. I don’t want my art to be “pretty”. I want my art to be beautiful in a way that touches your humanity, that makes you come alive, or reminds you of who you really are, apart from what the world tells you. Something that brings you closer to the human family and reality. My art stands as an open invitation to help people discover beauty. Come and see!

More about Karen

Karen is a fine artist, writer, and marketer living in the greater Kansas City area. She received her B.A. in Writing with a minor in Anthropology from Missouri State University. Largely self-taught, she also studied charcoal portraiture and watercolor at Studio Kandè. She believes that art is very much a place of encounter with reality, with the infinite, brought forth in whatever circumstance each artist has been placed. For Karen, this means drawing on her experiences growing up in rural Missouri, and focusing on creating calming art using watercolor, colored pencils, pen and ink, and charcoal. When she’s not busy dodging tornadoes, she enjoys spending time with her family & cat, singing, reading, and embracing life. 

Karen’s artwork can be found in private collections across the United States: 

Private collection, New York, NY

Private collection, Brooklyn, NY

Private collection, Chicago, IL 

Private collection, Elkhart, IN

Private collection, Venice, CA 

Private collection, Steubenville, OH 

Private collection, Windham, CT 

Private collection, Kansas City, MO 

Private collection, St. Charles, MO 

Private collection, Overland Park, KS 

Private collection, Atchison, KS 

Private collection, Osage City, KS 

“Every authentic art is symbolic: a bridge between two worlds. It expresses a deeper reality – that is, the true reality.” –Nikolai Berdyaev