Karen Hymer


Artist Statement

Remnants, a series of hand-worked photopolymer gravures, explores the relationship between the aging human body and natural elements from the Sonoran desert. I grew up in the desert collecting dead animals, dried plants and rocks. This desert landscape has inspired me to seek relationships between the transformation of my own aging body and the processes of decay in the natural world. Combining photography with printmaking I emphasize the interplay of texture, pattern, light and shadow, working with the muted earth tones I know best. These visual “remnants”—decontextualized close-ups of the human body and remains of plants and animals—reveal the subtle poetry of aging and decay and invite the viewer to see beauty in unexpected places.


Karen Hymer was born in Tucson, Arizona and has spent most of her life in the Sonoran desert. She earned her BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University, Medford and her MA and MFA in Fine Art Photography from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Hymer actively exhibits her work both nationally and internationally. Recent venues include the Phoenix Art Museum, The Los Angeles Center for Photographic Arts, Art Intersection, The Center for Fine Art Photography, The Washington Printmakers Gallery and The Athens Institute for Contemporary Art. Her work is in several public collections, including the Center for Creative Photography and the Polaroid International Collection. She was the recipient of a Rfotofolio Choice Award in 2016 and a Contemporary Forum Grant and Arizona Commission for the Arts grant in 2014.

Hymer’s experience and technical interests are wide-ranging. Although “trained” as a photographer and educator, her approach to image making explores the blending of photosensitive materials, digital media, printmaking and encaustics. She offers workshops in Photopolymer Gravure printing and private consultations in digital color management, workflow and digital printing.

Karen Hymer
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