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Karen Archia - Visual Artist + Creative Director, Public Art Practice

In 2012, I took a step out and exhibited for the first time at Labourlove Gallery in Durham, NC.


I painted for many years as an outlet for my own creative voice during two decades of professional, non-profit work where I was writing about and for other people and organizations. Artist Kelly Dew, co-owner of Labourlove Gallery, urged me to exhibit after seeing my work. She also became my first artistic mentor.

2019 offered two major transformative events for me: I closed my coffee/retail shop The People's Perk, in Greensboro, NC after six years; and second, I received a scholarship to attend an art retreat at The Penland School of Craft -- a 100 year-old, internationally-recognized center for creatives in western North Carolina.

One change meant the end of an era; the other fed and nurtured by artistry in ways that are still unfolding. You can read my artist statement + exhibition list for a deeper dive into how I approach my artwork. Currently, I am Artist-in-Residence at the Center for Visual Artists in Greensboro, NC. I work in the front space of the Center, so passersby can see me working and visitation is permitted within COVID-safe requirements. 


Since I also had a studio space within my coffee shop,  art-making in a public setting and creative expression with and around people have become centered in my art practice. I also believe all people fundamentally have a creative spirit and I love to encourage that expression by art-making in community. 


As a result, I started a community service effort called Public Art Practice (PAP) and hosted 60 free art-making sessions + Open Studios from September 2019 - March 2020 at Deep Roots Market, Greensboro's only community-owned grocery store and cafe, and two art talk/community painting events at the Greensboro Public Library. I plan to grow PAP's partnerships and presence in 2021.

Thank you for visiting Interested in purchasing art? Check out my Frequently Asked Questions. Or, head over to my online print shop.


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