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Santa Monica College Gallery Features Work of Public Artist


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By Lookout Staff

February 13, 2018 -- Perhaps the best way to experience Anne Marie Karlsen's art is to ride the Red Line Subway to the North Hollywood station and take in the giant mosaic murals she created two decades ago.

Those who want a broader survey of the artist's work will get a chance starting this month during an exhibit at the Santa Monica College Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery.

Mytologi by Anne Marie Karlsen

"Public Displays of Artistic Expression” -- a survey exhibition of Karlsen's studio art work and images of her public art commissions -- opens Tuesday, February 20, and runs through Saturday, March 24, with a gallery reception on Saturday, February 24, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The exhibition -- which showcases Karlsen’s use of collage, painting, illusionism and printmaking -- shows her “re-orientation of studio methods to her larger scale of public art projects, and how siting and audience can determine content,” said independent art historian and curator Gordon L. Fuglie.

Mytologi by Anne Marie Karlsen

“A bright thread running through Karlsen’s studio work done in a variety of styles and media is what she calls ‘my autobiographical inquiry,’” said Fuglie.

“A child of Norwegian immigrants, her identity becomes a conduit for connecting to important subjects, including ethnic and cultural legacies, gender issues, social topics, mythological archetypes, and the cumulative weight of history and culture."

In addition to her work in the North Hollywood station, which was listed in Art in America’s “Best Public Art of 2001,” Karlsen's award-winning works include “Subdivisions” (2009) a colored glass curtain wall at the Lawndale Public Library, and “Wheels” (2010) in the Santa Monica Place Parking Structure.

“Wheels” -- which along with "Subdivisions" was named Best National Public Art by the Americans for the Arts/Public Arts Network -- is a photomontage of the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier.

The three works are among more than 27 public and corporate arts commissions Karlsen has completed across the country, from Alaska to Michigan, since 1992, exhibit organizers said.

Her studio work has been featured in more than 100 solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe and can be found in the permanent collections of numerous museums.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin/Madison's MFA program, Karlsen is Professor of Art at SMC, where she was awarded the 2007 Sam Francis/Martin Sosin Chair of Excellence, a three-year fellowship.

She also works as a public art consultant and has written public art redevelopment plans, including work on the Santa Monica Boulevard Master Plan for the City of West Hollywood.

SMC's Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery is located at the SMC Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th Street (at Santa Monica Boulevard), Santa Monica.

Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Exhibits, receptions, and gallery tours and talks are free.

For more information call (310) 434-3434.


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