CV and BIO

As an artist working in photography, Karen Olson illustrates the language of the subconscious mind and uses the medium to dig deep into the psyche. Collaboration and spontaneity are key elements in her process, encouraging creative interplay between the camera, model, and photographer. Karen uses photography to represent internal realities…human emotion with all its intensity and complexity.  She strongly believes it is our strength to express the deepest part of ourselves. 

Working with tools and techniques she has gathered throughout her career as a visual artist, Karen employs sculptural elements and works in paint and ink. These are digitally captured and intertwined with conceptual portraits to express layers of emotional experience and the places in between.

Karen’s current body of conceptual work embraces deep-seated emotion and complexity of thought. It is about our struggles, fears, vulnerability, and life-changing events. The imagery encourages introspection and reflection; gently allowing one to fully feel the depth of experiences often too difficult to express. This photographic narrative acts  as a prompt to express one’s own personal story.

Karen has been an active part of the Maine art scene for 30 years. Her work has been shown in several galleries on the coast and in the US. She spent 3 years as Director for The Art Loft, a non-profit community art center in Rockland. She is largely self-taught, having studied independently and with many fellow artists in a variety of mediums. Karen currently works as a photographer and graphic artist. She mentors fellow artists in professional development, creativity, and photography. 



Projects II, Maine Media College, Instructor: Elizabeth Greenberg, Winter 2020
Concept Aware Workshop, Maine Media College, Instructor: Sybylla Smith, Winter 2019
Finding Stillness Photography Workshop, Instructor: Kim Klassen, Fall 2016
Still Life Photography Online Classes, Instructor: Kim Klassen, 2014-2016


2018-2019          Executive Director, The Art Loft, non-profit community art center, Rockland, Maine
2016-2017          Operations Director, The Art Loft, non-profit community art center, Rockland, Maine
2016-2019          Instructor, The Art Loft, photography, creativity, and technology
2016-2020          Independent Instructor in WordPress and photography
2019-2020          Graphic Art Designer, Custom Pop Ups Card Company, San Diego, California
2013-2019          Creator and Writer, Renuko Style Blog: art, photography, and creative business focus
2014-2015          Coastal Collage, Local Arts, Bangor Daily News Blog, Maine
1998-2005          Treasurer, Port Clyde Arts and Crafts Society, Port Clyde, Maine


2018                  The Art Loft, Rockland, Maine   August 1-30, 2018, Artist in Residence


2020                   Annual Photobook Show, Davis Orton Gallery and Griffin Museum of Photography, Jurors
Karen Davis and Paula Tognarelli
2020                   Glimmer, Group Show, Gallery Sitka, Shirley, Mass, Juror Melissa Richard
2020                   Online Feature, The Antidote, Maine Museum of Photographic Arts
2020                   Group Show, Torpedo Arts Center, ‘In My Head, In my Body’, Juror Shanti Norris
2020                   Group Show, Griffin Museum of Photography, Juror Alexa Dilworth
2020                   Online Exhibition, On Winter’s Margin, Overexposed Magazine
2020                   Group Show, The Heart Goes Nine, Rhode Island Center for photography, Juror Sybylla Smith
2020                   Group Show, Mirror Image, Don’t Take Pictures Online Exhibition
2020                   Honorable Mention, Group Show, Maine Photography Show, Juror Greg Rec
2019                   Group Show, Online exhibition, Black and White, Photo Place Gallery, Juror Jennifer Schlesinger
2019                   Two Person Show, Hidden Dimensions, The Art Loft, Rockland, Maine
2018                   Two Person Show, If Only in a Dream, The Art Loft, Rockland, Maine
2015                   Group Exhibition, Maine Craft Guild Fine Craft Show, Damariscotta, Maine
2015                   Group Exhibition, Artful Gifts Fine Art and Craft Show, Northport, Maine
2008                  One Person Show, Tidewater, Camden Public Library, Camden, Maine
2013-2018           Gallery Artist, Archipelago, Rockland, Maine
2013-2018           Gallery Artist, Island Artisans, Bar Harbor, Maine
2013-2017           Gallery Artist, Maine Craft Gallery, Gardiner, Maine
2004-2009          Gallery Artist, Mars Hall Gallery, Port Clyde, Maine
2000-2004          Gallery Artist, Artist-Run Cooperative, Port Clyde Arts and Crafts Gallery, Port Clyde, Maine


2018                  The Art Loft, Rockland, Maine   August 1-30, 2018, Artist in Residence


2019                   Two Featured Images, The Hand Magazine
2017                   Instagram Feature, Bella Grace Magazine,
2017                   Group Feature, Mingle Magazine
2016                   Feature Article, Artful Blogging Magazine
2015                   PhotoTherapy: Processing Emotion with Photography, Self Published Book