Karen Kieser, who grew up in Bala Cynwyd, PA, received her BFA in Sculpture from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and her MFA in Sculpture from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.
Throughout her career, Karen has worked in bronze casting foundries, in architectural restoration, and in summer camp art programs; but her primary occupation outside the studio has been as a college art professor. Since 1998, Karen has been teaching sculpture, drawing, and painting at Gwynedd Mercy University, as well as running the exhibition space known as "Art in the Storefront" in Ambler, PA with co-curator and producer Mark Elliott of No Bare Walls Framing Studio.
While an apprentice at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture in Princeton NJ, Karen met her now husband of over thirty years, Peter Ritchie. They have two children, Nathan and Annette, and live in the heart of Ambler Borough.
In her personal art, Karen strives to depict both the beauty and the rawness of life. She is drawn to how nature can be both spectacularly beautiful and horribly disgusting without any regard for either condition. It just is. Sometimes nature is humorous; sometimes forms seem threatening or mysterious.
These themes have revealed themselves in all forms of Kieser’s artwork. She has explored them in public sculpture, smaller works for intimate spaces, drawing, painting, and even jewelry. Karen often designs for site-specific locations. The passion expressed by her organic forms is a natural complement to architectural interiors and plazas. The passerby is exposed to familiar forms in an unfamiliar location and consequently sees the world with a fresh perspective. Karen Kieser is the owner of Immersion Studio LLC in Ambler, PA.