About the Artist
Karin Franzen is a long-time resident of Alaska and a full-time studio artist. Franzen’s art is the result of an eclectic past. Born and rasied in Britton, South Dakota, USA, her father was a mortician and the human condition, in its most material and spiritural aspects, was never far from home. The constant presence of the intangible nature of existence instilled in her a respect and desire for the divine in everyday life—a presence that can often be felt lurking beneath the images in her best work. Her mother encouraged an understanding and love of art, and she learned to sew under the direction of her grandmother. Days spent exploring the surrounding prairies and wetlands initiated a love of the biological world that would evenutally lead her to a degree in Biology with an Art minor from the University of North Dakota.
A sense of adventure and an insatiable curiosity brought her to Alaska where work in the construction industry let to yet another degree—this time in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. During her years as a structural engineer, she began mushing dogs and started a small manufacturing business that would eventually grow to be a primary means of support. The retirement from engineering and the sale of Taiga Mushing Supplies allowed Franzen the privilege of fulfilling the dream she had harbored since childhood—a life as a full-time studio artist. Franzen uses the skills honed over a lifetime-drawing, mathematics, structural design, sewing, and an understanding of biology-to create her work.