Karen Chesna
Karen Chesna was born in Chicago and lived there for 33 years before moving to Kalispell, Montana.  She received her BA in history, with concentrations in Native American and Primative Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Upon graduation, Karen was employed by the Anthropological/Conservation Department of the Field Museam of Natural History, where she worked with the Northwest Coast Indian and Eskimo collections. During her lunch breaks she would roam the museam's vast storage rooms, opening cabinets and drawers that revealed mysterious treasures both beautiful and odd.
      Mystery has been a contstant theme running through Karen's life. She was raised in the catholic church where miracles, veiled taberacles, midnight services, and candle filled shrines were a natural part of life.  Childhood summers were marked by long vacations to the rural Western United States. Here she first experienced deep silence and skies heavy with stars, while time spent in the city fed her imagination with museum displays of ancient cultures and antique navigational instruments.
     Karen began her art career working in the medium of fiber, which she used to construct small boxes filled with scenes and embroidered with her poems.  After taking a lost-wax casting class with local sculptor, Kay Lynn, Karen became fascinated with 
metal and returned to school to study metal smithing, eventually becoming an adjunct instructor in a college professional goldsmithing program. A desire to refine and deepen her work led her to earn an MFA in sculpture/metals from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco.  She currently owns and operates Glacier Metal Arts Studio, where she teaches metal smithing to students of all ages.
     Karen's current body of work explores the theme of mystery- the unknown and the unknowable; expressed as things hidden and things revealed. She creates sculptural jewlery, artists books, and small metal-based mixed media sculptures that reference
archeology, early science, alchemy, and old religious rites. Her pieces employ archetctural elements and geometrical forms, which provide a structure of order and rationality as she explores our relationship to the irrational.

Persimmon Gallery
537 Electric Ave
Bigfork, MT 59911

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