Karen Gergely MFA
Assistant Professor of Art, Art Department Coordinator
I am primarily a social practice artist that encourages a community to learn together, share experiences, skills, traditions and stories in the name of art. I am trained as a painter and a drawer and have worked in video, sculpture and installation.
As an Assistant Professor of Art at Graceland University, I equally LOVE teaching foundational courses where growth is abundant and upper division courses where skills and concepts can be richly honed. I believe that art is a skill that can be learned and strong concepts can be cultivated. Form should follow function and purpose in a work of art, and often participants are needed for our work to be complete. I love moments in the studio and classroom where students are so involved solving a problem as a large group that they don’t even know I am in the room. Collaboration and idea sharing is at the heart of my teaching philosophy and art making process.
In my personal work, I record histories of those I respect and want to learn from so I can share their experiences and help keep traditions alive. I regularly work with an artist collective called collabAttack, of which I am one of three founding members. Our goal is to find ways to elevate the everyday and the people thriving within it.
A native West Virginian with a strong heart for Appalachia, one of my first and most formative adventures was a five-month thru-hike of the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine with my best friend. I was most recently inducted into the great Iowan tradition of riding RAGBRAI and have fallen in love with riding my cyclocross bicycle on the gravel roads with my Lamoni friends who are much stronger than me.