Karen Underhill is from a picturesque town in the Midwest called Stillwater, Minnesota. This is where she first began creating her earthworks. Her driftwood mobiles and necklaces were inspired by the cool, windy St. Croix River. Karen’s curiosity about the West took her to California, Washington and Colorado for a few years and her beaded jewelry flourished with color. Karen returned to the Midwest and life got busy when her focus turned towards her two amazing sons, Levi Polzin and Tyler Polzin.
In the 90s and early 2000, Karen began learning about new games and teambuilding while working at the YMCA Camp St. Croix. She led camp counselors, families, teams and work groups in the joy of play and teambuilding adventures. She is bringing this playfulness back into the works as many have become attached to these mobile devices and forgotten the art of interacting with one another. Watch for upcoming events.
In 2013, Karen returned to the Pacific Northwest. She has been daily inspired by the abundant beauty that surrounds her such as the tall lanky trees, wild rugged ocean and the circle of volcanos. She designs creations that merge images and objects from earth that incorporate drift wood, beads, metal, leather, photography or recycled parts. Her hope is to share the magic found in the beauty of the earth with you.
In 2017, Karen began a new adventure following the coastal highway 101 south, through the redwoods and into the Sierra Mountains. Her love for rocks, stones and mountains is leading to some new creations that she is excited to share. Keep posted for upcoming events and pieces.
Living a creative life Karen achieved a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. For the past ten years she has developed marketing solutions for government agencies and nonprofit programs.
As she wandered the mountains, coast and streams a strong internal desired to give back to this wondrous earth emerged. She was inspired by the programs offered through the Center for Earth Leadership and Northwest Earth Institute in Portland, Oregon. A new chapter will be added to the arts as she will bring together groups to work grass roots efforts to continue to bring sustainability forward. Watch for the upcoming page to get involved.