You’ll feel like a Great-horned Owl finding yourself saying “whoo” a lot when you see Karen Kent’s latest owl art exhibit ‘Whoo?’ at the H. Pelham Curtis Gallery at the New Canaan Library in New Canaan, CT.
Kent brings owls down from their supernatural pedestal and makes them exuberant, approachable and humorous.
What’s in a Name
She gives each owl a distinct personality, and many are named after people she knows.
With bold, expressive brushstrokes, deep, vibrant colors and splashes of mixed media, you’ll find yourself going back and taking a second and third look and then wanting to know more about each namesake.
Hugh. Maria. Ottus. Mel. Joia. Christopher. Ariel. Tony. Claude. Bentley.
Getting to the New Canaan Library
After seeing Karen’s magical owls at an artist collective, Annamari Mikkola, lead curator for the New Canaan Library Curtis Gallery says she immediately knew Karen’s work must be shown at the library.
Other members of the art committee enthusiastically agreed.
“As the lead curator for the gallery, I’m trying to keep our shows ambitious, and Karen’s work exceeds our standards,” says Mikkola.
“This is a show for everybody and all ages. Karen’s paintings are approachable, engaging and exuberant that also challenge the viewer to come back to them.”
Owl with Glasses
We’re big fans of Karen’s work after seeing her exhibit at the Greenwich Audubon in 2017.
intoBirds profiled Karen’s majestic owl series last year on our site.
One of our favorite paintings in this exhibition was named ‘David.’
It was a playful painting of Great Gray Owl, with a polka dot bow die and bright red glasses.
She carefully works in painted fabrics trailing the face of the owl and magic happens.
The piece just made you smile.
There’s something fun about taking a majestic owl and making it whimsical.
We asked Karen who the painting was named after, and she laughed and said her pastor is named David and he wears a bow tie.
It’s as simple as that.
Another favorite from this show is Karen’s painting ‘The Klimt’s.’
The name Klimt might sounds familiar. Gustav Klimt painted ‘The Kiss’ in 1907-1908.
Klimt’s famous painting depicts a couple embracing one another, their bodies entwined in elaborate, beautiful robes decorated in a contemporary Art Nouveau style.
Karen’s painting ‘The Klimt’s’ is a tribute to this famous work.
She depicts three Great-horned Owls sitting on a branch using the same mosaic, Art Noveau style Klimt is known for in his masterpiece.
Kent’s work must be seen up close to be appreciated.
She works in touches of mixed media to give the paintings an added texture, dimension, and character.
The paintings come to life on the wall.
Owl Augmented Reality
The library offers viewers high-tech augmented reality to view Karen’s art in a dynamic new way.
Using your smartphone and an app, Karen’s art come visually alive through her words and insight.
Just click on the icon on the artwork label to enjoy the augmented reality aspect to this show.
If you’re near New Canaan, stop in and see this show. You’ll leave with a smile on your face.
And you might want a piece of Karen’s engaging artwork to adorn the walls of your home too.
Karen’s exhibition, ‘Whoo?’ is running until March 3, 2019, at the New Canaan Library located at 151 Main Street, New Canaan, CT.
For more information, visit newcanaanlibrary.org or call 203.594.5003.