Karen McCoy’s primary work for the last two decades has been large-scale, sited environmental sculpture. McCoy focuses on the relationship between nature and culture, creating work based on extensive research into the geological, cultural, and social histories of each site. She also works in video, photography, installation and makes drawings and prints. Recent projects have included her Visual Artist Residency at the Wintergreen Music Festival in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in 2013. There she collaboratively led Sound and Sight Walks, with composer Robert Carl, in which participants used her hand carved wooden listen trumpets to focus on sound. McCoy also had a solo installation of drawings, Humanature: Images of Body and Land at Chroma Projects in Charlottesville, VA the same year. In 2012, for Sound and Shadow, she projected eight simultaneous single channel video pieces at LaEsquina Urban Culture Gallery in Kansas City, MO. This project for ArtSounds KC was in collaboration with composer Robert Carl and live musicians. In summer of 2011 she installed Seemingly Unconnected Events for an exhibition the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion State Historic Site in Portsmouth, NH; in 2010 a collaborative project, Talking Trees, in honor of the 125th Anniversary of the Kansas City Art Institute, piece (with composer, Robert Carl), was commissioned by the Spencer Museum at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS and she made the Taiwan Tangle: A Space to Contemplate Carrying Capacity for Guandu International Bird Sanctuary in Taipei, Taiwan in 2009. In 2007 she received a three-month grant from the Asian Cultural Council to conduct research in Japan on the relationship of culture, landscape, and built form. McCoy’s work with the environment education is featured on the conservation education website of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts). Hosted by www.folklife.si.edu, the website provides case studies about organizations and/or artists who, through their work, help educate the public about conservation.

Karen McCoy received support for attending the Creative Capitol Professional Development Program in 2007, from Metropolitan Arts Council, Charlotte Street Foundation, and the Mid-America Arts Alliance Headquarters in Kansas City. In 2005, McCoy and her collabortor Matthew Dehaemers, received an award for their collaborative projects, Epicenter and Who Discovered Whom?, from the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the Missouri Arts Council. This work was featured on the Public Art Network, Year in Review Website honoring the outstanding public arts projects from 2004. McCoy received support from the Andy Warhol Foundation (2000) under the auspices of the Camargo Foundation for a three month Artist Residency in Cassis, France; from ArtsLink- a program of CEC International Partners: National Endowment for the Arts, Open Society Institute - NY, Soros Centers for Contemporary Arts, Ohio Arts Council, Kettering fund, and Trust for Mutual Understanding, in support of the collaborative project in Lithuania at Europos Parkas (1998); and the Art Association and Land Trust of Jackson, Wyoming (2000) for the installation of sculpture in Jackson, WY. She has had other residencies at the the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming (2001), and her month long residency at the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, California (2000) which was awarded the Pritziker Foundation Endowed Fellowship Award.

McCoy’s work is included in several books, including World of Art, Henry Sayre (6th Ed. 2010 and 7th Ed 2012); Gardens without Boundaries, Paul Cooper (2003); Krakamarken, Jørn Rønneau (2001); Earthworks and Beyond, John Beardsley (3rd Ed. 1998); and Landscape Narratives, Matthew Potteiger and Jamie Purinton (1998). Significant articles about her work have appeared in Lake (2008), in Land Forum Magazine (1999), in the Land Report (1996) and in Art and Design; Art and the Natural Environment (1994). Her work is in the has been reviewed in Sculpture Magazine (2010, 1996), the New York Times (1993, ‘96), The Dallas Times Herald (1989), and the Philadelphia Enquirer (1986) among others. Her work is in the Oppenheimer Collection at the Nerman Contemporary Museum of Art, Overland Park, KS and featured in the catalogue of that collection.

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