Karen Garrett    

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1966 – Born May 16 in Midwest City, location of Tinker Air Force Base and suburb of Oklahoma City.  Daughter to Eugene T. Garrett and Mary Kay Garrett.  Eugene Garrett is a fire fighter.  Mary Kay Garrett is a homemaker and church worker.  

1985 – Pursues a formal education in fashion design at the University of Oklahoma.  Joins the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority.  Begins designing and constructing gowns for social functions. 

1986 – Fashion Department at University of Oklahoma closes transferring all earned credits to the College of Fine Art making the new chosen degree that of painting.  Is happily surprised and right at home to see Kathy, previous teacher of 14 years, in the same program. 

With an artistic, enthusiastic, and exploring spirit, was the first person through the new door from the College of Art to the connected Fred Jones Jr. Art Museum, the first museum she visits. 

1987 - Develops an interest in clay sculpture, which is chosen for a juried exhibition called VisionMakers of the 20th Century.  The show begins at the Kirkpatrick Museum Complex in Oklahoma City and travels to the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Ok.  Discovered art to be a lucrative business selling all studio works sight unseen to museum collectors on opening night. 

1988 – Phil brook Museum of Art requests to record and file all current and future documents, exhibitions, catalogues, brochures, newspapers, magazine articles, resumes, and reproductions of “Garrett” art. 

Clay sculpture is chosen to exhibit at The Central Park Gallery with Picasso’s clay vases at NCECA, (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) in Kansas City, MO. 

Graduates with a Bachelor of Fine Art degree, University of Oklahoma with honors. 

1989 – Is honored with first, two-person exhibition at the Kirkpatrick Museum Complex, State of Oklahoma Gallery featuring clay sculpture and newly developed three-dimensional paintings of raw canvas. 

Begins the Masters Program at the University of Houston in clay sculpture.  With an interest in advancing sculpting skills, promptly transfers into the sculpture department, a program started by Texas great and nationally acclaimed sculptor, James Surls

1990 - Begins using cardboard to build templates for a large, collaborative, steel sculpture installed in the Houston Zoo Bird Sanctuary.  The love for cardboard begins on this project.  The first raw cardboard sculpture, Homeless Man Selling Roses, is created – stemming from a life interest in missions and the plight of people. 

    Shows clay sculpture, Hee Haw, in the Blaffer Museum

1991 – Time to experiment, expand, express, engage, play, and teach.  Enjoys building large works, working with performers / groups, and causing environmental / global awareness. 

1.  Experiment - to build a thirty foot, floating, flaming piece in James Surls' Lake Project / Performance.  [A firefighter’s daughter can build a safe and beautiful fire]. 

2.  Expand – to build a store-sized installation for Contemporary Issues opening the Blue Man Performance at Diverse Works.  The piece, Convenience Has It’s Price, addressed over-packaging and environmental problems. 

3.  Express - by building a 20’ Moby Shrimp on Galveston Beach for the Texas Land Commission.  The piece was made entirely of beach trash as a conscience piece concerning the environment and negligence of "shrimpers" – the number one contributor of beach trash.  Was on the coastal tour for two years. 

4.  Engage – creating Designer Gas Masks for The War Show in awareness of the plight of people during Desert Storm. 

5.  Play – to collaborate with a group to build an Art Car to drive in the parade for the Houston International Festival winning first place. 

6.  Teach – begins teaching art in four Houston churches.  Over 7,000 students ranging in age from 3 to 83 completed a ten week art program Garrett developed for her future art ranch called, Godstone Ranch. 

1992 – Graduates with a Master of Fine Art degree with honors from the University of Houston.  Exhibits Masters Works in Blaffer Museum, Texas. 

    Wins 1992 LANDscapes, Houston International Festival, DiverseWorks, Houston Grant Award, a national juried exhibition, and builds Home Sweet Home, the first RCL (resinated cellulose laminate) piece exhibited under the Sabine Street Bridge in downtown Houston.  One of the first Houston Art Park pieces. The request posed to artists was to rid Houston of the homeless people downtown, “beautify the city” with art, in preparation for the International Festival.  This piece is a recreation of the existing homeless village.  The to-be-removed homeless people were created from their trash causing discomfort for the city choosing to elevate garbage while devaluing human life.  My piece embarrassed the City into allowing my homeless friends to remain. 

    Wins a two year studio internship at Texas Art Glass in South Houston.  Learns how to build stained glass windows.  As a favor, designs many cartoons for monumental windows installed in cathedrals and churches in America and Europe.  Also, combines RCL and stained glass techniques to build Female Matador out of actual butterfly wings donated by the Cockrell Butterfly House, Natural Museum of Science, Houston. 

Exhibits clay sculptures for NCECA at Wyndy Morehead Fine Arts Gallery, New Orleans, LA. 

1994 – Moves into her first studio, at abandoned Oaks Farms Dairy, in Houston.  

            First One Person show, Boundaries, at New Gallery, Houston.

           Meets choreographer, Deborah Shultz, and begins to collaborate for multi-media project, Leaps of Boundaries – exhibition, performance, fund-raiser, at Allen Center Complex in downtown Houston.  During the three month show, Doubletree Hotel gave proceeds from chocolate chip cookie sells to the Star of Hope Mission to help the homeless.  The kids from the mission are part of the performance singing “I Am a Promise”. 

1995 – Exhibits The Structure, a 17’ "RCL" sculpture, for nine months in Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston.  Twenty million people viewed the piece. 

    Elton John and Billy Joel requested my work for their private rooms while on concert tour at Rice University Stadium.  Elton chose Homeless Man Selling Roses.  Billy chose The Kiss. 

1996 – Finished The Manger Chapel, incorporating RCL for Pieta, mural for 510 sq. ft. ceiling – Portal to Heaven, stained glass for windows – Sunrise / Sunset, which is consecrated by the Bishop of Texas, Suffrage Right Reverend Leopold A. Award. 

  • First bronze from ACL creates a baptismal font, The Crossing, for the narthex of Saint Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Houston. 

  • Exhibits The Female Matador in Cockrell Butterfly House, Natural Museum of Science in Houston. 

  • Second One Person show, Chemotropism, at New Gallery. 

  • Starts an Alzheimer’s Art Program.  Patients are bused and driven in from all over Houston twice per month to learn to paint. 

2005 – Builds Fencing which exhibits with Dale Chihuly in HKS Architects headquarters lobby in Dallas.  HKS is a leading national architecture firm. 

Auditions for Bravo-TV's Project Runway Season 2. Makes the cut as one of the approximately 30 or so semifinalists chosen from all over the country. See the Project Runway Audition Collection designed and stitched exclusively for the Season 2 casting auditions in Miami.

Completes The Garrett Horse for a Dallas charity.

Creates PROJECT OUTCAST. Becomes one of the pioneer "Para-contestants" by recreating the Bravo TV reality TV show, Project Runway 2 challenges at home in real time.

2006 - Auditions for Bravo-TV's Project Runway Season 3. Makes the cut as one of the approximately 45 or so semifinalists chosen from all over the country. See Ms. Garrett's bio-video HERE.

Presents Spring 2006 line at the Women Who Wine of Texas Spring Fashion Event.

Begins part-time professorship instructing Fundamentals of Drawing for the Art Institute of Dallas.

2007 Completes Sacred Heart School, Washington D.C. mural.

    Art Blast Dallas Contemporary - "Garrett Horse"

    Pegasus Gallery, Dallas - One Woman Show, "Puppy Love"

    Janette Kennedy Gallery, Dallas - One Woman Show, "Symbols of Truth"

    Dallas Central Public Library - Exhibition, "Garrett Horse"

    El Centro College Green Space, Dallas - One Woman Show, "Inside Out"

2008 Sotheby's WISH Auction, Dallas Contemporary

    Dallas Central Library, One Woman Show, "Puppy Love"

   


 
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