gourd Cave Creek, AZ
Member Profile

Soaring Spirit Studio
Karen S. Friend

Karen S. Friend earned an Associate's Degree in Commercial Art from the Community College of Allegheny County and a BFA in painting from The University of Chicago. She spent 25 years in the non-profit world, running trade associations for the on-premise sign industry and the printing industry lobbying on state and national levels and coordinating events. Now retired, she spends quite a bit of time in her home art studio working on gourds to transform them from humble origins to works of art. "I have a great enthusiasm for painting on different surfaces, and exploring the vibrancy of color and transparency of various media types."

Karen is a member of the Sonoran Arts League, Southwest Gourd Association, the Arizona Gourd Society, the American Gourd Society and a participating artist in the Arizona Art Alliance, for which she received a Director's Award for her body of work in January 2014. She has exhibited her fine art gourds at The Kerr Arts and Cultural Center in Kerrville, Texas, Wildfire Gallery in Cave Creek, Annual Hidden in the Hills Studio Art Tour, Annual Weurtz Gourd Festival in Pinal County, AZ, Arizona Art Alliance shows, and other local venues in the area. Her gourds have been featured in local papers and area newsletters.