Okay, this is not a doll artist. She doesn’t claim to be a doll artist and I don’t even claim she is one. But I just got home from the Kansas City Plaza Art Fair, and it was the first time I’d seen Karen Woodward’s work. I laughed out loud at the rollicking personalities exhibited by her little “effigy sculptures” made from “flameworked glass.” (I don’t know the difference between flamework and lampwork, but she seems to also work in argon lights, so maybe the process is similar to that. Maybe someone who reads this will post a comment and explain.) What really heats her work up, though, are the goofy expressions on her effigies and the hilarious titles some of them have, from “Cotton Candy Man” to “The Chicken Thief.”
Her artist statement says that when you view her pieces together, the relationships they seem to develop bring a deeper meaning than their simple entertainment value. This may be true, or it may be what she has to write to be accepted by the “fine art” crowd, which she obviously is, but either way, I wholeheartedly endorse her statement that, “art does not have to be serious to be meaningful.” I hope she’ll decide to exhibit at more Kansas City shows so I can visit her work more often! For now I’ll have to settle for her website at www.karenwoodwardstudios.com.