Karen Spears is an Iowa artist who creates sculptural mosaics using raw concrete and scraps of colored glass, as well as traditional landscape paintings. Painting was Karen’s first artistic medium, and she draws on related techniques and aesthetics in her sculptural works.
I’m really interested in the works in Karen’s Concrete Sculpture gallery – these works take the practice of mosaic art into a three-dimensional realm, producing magical-looking objects covered in glittering glass facets. Karen showcases a practiced level of skill and technique in the formation of her shapes – whether it’s a pyramid, a sphere, or an abstracted bowl or plane, there’s clear attention to detail paid in balancing the weight of the concrete shape against the delicate, translucent look of the glass.
In Karen’s Stained Glass Mosaic Hangings, the heavy concrete bases are replaced with simple wires, allowing the glass to take precedence. Like other stained glass artists like Kevyn Cundiff and Jewelweed, Karen’s glassworks celebrate not only the immediate materials, but the way they function in tandem with sunlight.