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Prancing, by Karen Petersen, bornze, 24x21x9

Karen Petersen was born and raised in the small town of Escanaba in the remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Her work is infused with the beauty, power, and solitude of her origins. Over the last several years she has been exploring the form of the horse in her sculpture and painting, reflecting on its mystery and romance, and investigating the spiritual and physical relationship between horses and humankind.
“With this series of bronzes” she says, “I have reached for pure form in depicting a sentient creature that exudes power, sensuousness, nobility, and sensitivity of spirit. Musing, by Karen Peterson, bronze,7 x 6 3/4 x 3 I have attempted to portray animals that appear both ancient and modern, horses equally at home on the walls of a prehistoric cave or on the walls of a Madison Avenue gallery. These horses, though earthbound, are mysterious. They contemplate the universe and mirror the complexity of life.”
Petersen’s oil paintings focus on both our inner and outer worlds. In some, she has superimposed the pure form of a horse, representing our controlled external face, on a landscape that speaks to our inner emotional self. All of the paintings articulate the striving of people to unite with the soul of nature and the universe.
Karen Petersen earned her BSD from the University of Michigan and attended the Parsons School of Design where she studied under sculptor Chaim Gross, who was an important influence on her work. She also studied at Central Connecticut College and the University of Rhode Island. Her teaching experience includes over twenty years at the Hartford College for Women where she also was director of the Butterworth Gallery.
Longing, by Karen Peterson, bronze, 9 x 11 x 3She has had numerous one person shows, has been included in many juried and invited exhibits, has served as a consultant to museums and a juror for exhibitions, and has been the recipient of fellowships, awards and commissions. Her work is included in many corporate and private collections, both in the United States and abroad. Petersen’s sculpture is cast in New York, Rhode Island, and in the Kingdom of Thailand.
The bronze horses in this exhibit were created in 2003 and first shown at the Sailor’s Valentine Gallery on Nantucket Island, then at Steuben Glass in New York City, and finally at the Grounds for Sculpture Museum in Hamilton, New Jersey.

Babbidge Library, Stevens Gallery
Curators: Roger Crossgrove & David Kapp