CV and BIO

Karen Olson is an artist working in photography, a graphic designer, and a writer. Her work illustrates the language of the subconscious; human emotion with all its intricacies and complexities. She feels strongly that it is our strength to express the deepest part of ourselves, to validate and honor the pain we carry in our hearts. She has been featured in many galleries and shows throughout the US such as the Torpedo Art Center – Target Gallery, the Rhode Island Center for Photography, and the Griffin Museum of Photography. She won honorable mention in the 2020 Maine Photography Show for her image, ‘Grit.’ Karen has also been featured in several online and print magazines including The Hand, Artful Blogging, and Bella Grace.

 Karen Olson has been a working Maine artist for over 30 years and has studied with both local and visiting artists and photographers at Maine Media Workshops and College and other venues both in the US and abroad. She is an active part of the Midcoast Maine art scene having worked as executive director and instructor for the Art Loft, a community arts center in Rockland, Maine. She created and wrote two arts-related blogs over five years, one for Bangor Daily News, the other a blog discussing the creative process. She is an avid student of creativity, specifically working to understand the neuropsychology behind the creative process and how it benefits our mental and emotional health. 

Recent projects include ‘Between Two Worlds,’ which exists as a series and book of poetry, text, and imagery designed to act as a companion for those who suffer grief and trauma. Another project, “Wildheart,’ is a series of images depicting the multi-sensory experience and healing properties of forest bathing. Karen is currently working on a project entitled ‘Empathy,’ which employs both photography and photo-based mixed media. The project centers around the concept of attentive self-empathy and cognitive empathy for others




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


2021                    Behind the Lens, Women in Photography, Rhode Island Center for Photography
2021                    NY Photo Curator, Transformations, Juror, Anne Kelly
2021                    LA Photo Curator, 2020 Top 40 Images, Curator Laurie Freitag
2021                    Virtual Gallery Exhibition, Griffin Museum of Photography, Jan 7-Feb 14,
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


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


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