Lincoln County Artist, Karen A. Fitzgibbon, from Toledo exhibits her work in the Coastal Oregon Visual Artists Showcase from July 5 through August 31. “A Little of This, A Little of That,” new work from Fikaa Studio, opens on the fifth of July with a reception for the artist hosted by Oregon Coast Council for the Arts (OCCA) from 5pm to 7pm with beverages and hors d’oeuvres.
Fitzgibbon is a self-taught multi-media artist. “Raised in a creative family with a variety of artistic talents, there was never a time when I don’t remember someone being creative, be it through fiber arts, wood, paint, clay, music, etc. My first recollection of creating stems from Kindergarten when I finger-painted a picture with a giraffe eating out of a tree. It won a prize and the opportunity to hang in a local show,” she states.
Learning new techniques with new mediums is primary to Fitzgibbon’s artistic development. She says, “To Create! To always continue to learn new techniques and various forms of creativity and incorporate them within the fields I now pursue. A challenge excites me, and I feel I can only receive increased satisfaction within my art as long as the learning process sustains and stimulates.”
She has worked in a variety of mediums including abstract painting, fabric art, fiber art, fiber, paper mache and jewelry. She has added woodworking to her skills in the last year. Fitzgibbon creates multimedia, three-dimensional figures with polymer clay faces, hands and feet ranging in size from 6 inches to over four feet tall. These figures range from whimsical to spiritual, tribal to exotic. Each figure starts with a polymer head, a face that becomes a personality as she forms the body. She dresses each figure and adds the final details to make the figure a unique character. Each figure is different; most are female with a few male characters along the way. She is an accomplished seamstress creating colorful costumes and accessories for her figures. Garments are hand crocheted or knitted to fit, clothing is handmade with unusual fabrics and embellished with beads, trim and other bits and pieces. An assortment of new, reused and recycled materials are used in her forms.
She also works in slip cast clay that is poured into a mold, dried, low fired and then decorated with a variety of mediums from acrylics to eggshells to cording, etc. Her latest pieces are painted and collaged vessels with ornate lids.
Fitzgibbon started showing pieces in small weekend shows after local friends and artists recommend she do so. She went from the weekend shows to monthly shows, galleries, co-ops and the Art Walk in Toledo. She has donated work for various charities, twice creating works of art for the auction at the Festival of Trees, a fundraiser for Samaritan Hospital foundation. She has shown in TLC Federal Credit Unions from Newport to Astoria.
Fitzgibbon has shown her work twice in shows at the Visual Arts Center, It’s Not Just Another Doll Show in 1999 and As the Spirit Moves in 2003. Her work has been exhibited in the Wild Woman Show at the River Gallery in Monmouth, the Skybound Gallery exhibit in Toledo, the Home Studio Art, the Becky Miller Studio/Gallery Black and White Show and at TLC Federal Credit Unions from Newport to Astoria. She has had work in many local galleries and is currently showing at Sola Luna Gallery in Toledo. She has participated in the Annual Toledo Art Walk and had a showing in her own studio in 2012.
Karen A. Fitzgibbon is the twelfth coastal artist to exhibit in the Coastal Oregon Visual Artist Showcase located on Second Floor of the Newport Visual Arts Center at 777 NW Beach Drive overlooking the ocean on the Nye Beach Turnaround. The Gallery is open from 12 to 4pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Oregon Coast Council for the Arts is a nonprofit arts organization and the regional arts council that brings high quality arts experiences to the coast. For more information, go to www.coastarts.org or call Sally Houck, OCCA VAC Director, 541-265-6569.