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Karen Woodward Garcia exhibiting at Dougherty Arts Center in Austin


Alumna Karen Woodward Garcia (BA in Art History, 1993) opens a new exhibition of work in June at the Dougherty Arts Center in Austin. The exhibition, Work, Play, and Somewhere In Between, includes sculpture in neon, glass and clay, as well as painting, that explores the comical absurdity of everyday life.

painting of whimsical figures in bright pastels

Woodward Garcia studied Ancient and Near Eastern art as an undergraduate at The University of Texas at Austin and especially loved her courses with professor emerita Denise Schmandt-Besserat. “I will always remember her lectures on her book and discussions of the intersection and interface between writing and art,” Woodward Garcia said in response to recollecting her undergraduate experience.

However, it was an unexpected decision to take a 3D Design course during her last semester that changed the trajectory of her work in the arts. The course eventually influenced her pursuit of her master’s of fine arts degree in Sculpture, which she earned from Washington University. “Since [graduate school] I served as an educator for 10 years and as the chair of the Glass Department at the Craft Alliance Center for Art and Design in St. Louis, MO,” said Woodward Garcia. “In 2010 I returned to Austin and now I’m a full time practicing artist. I always wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t taken that one course.”

Work, Play, and Somewhere In Between will be on view from June 1 - July 8, 2017 at the Dougherty Arts Center in Austin.