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  • Writer's pictureMorgan Conservatory

Celebrating Black History: Karen J. Revis, 2019 Artist In Residence

Updated: Feb 28, 2021

Karen J. Revis is a New York City based artist who is driven by process and materials. She explores mark making using monotypes, lithographs, etchings, linoleum cuts, collagraphs and papermaking. Two of her linocut prints have been selected by Colossal Media to be murals in NYC and L.A. She studied Fine Art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She was a recipient of the Robert Blackburn Workshop SIP Fellowship in 2018. She has attended residencies at The Morgan Paper Conservatory, Cleveland, OH; BACAS, Teggiano, Italy; Pyramid Atlantic, Silver Spring, MD; The Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, NY; and Henry Street Settlement, New York, NY. Her work is featured in The Art of Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium by Joanne Mattera (Watson-Guptill Publications). Karen is a board member of the Women’s Studio Workshop and a member of BADGuild.

Karen's most recent work was included in We Are Your People Now, an exhibition curated by Leslie Kirby at Project ArtSpace in New York City. The exhibition featured paintings, prints and a video by Kim Sykes, Karen J. Revis, and JoAnne McFarland.

According to the Project ArtSpace website:

"We Are Your People, Now is a turn of the phrase “Now, who are your people?” Ella Baker’s pre-eminent question according to Barbara Ransby in her biography of Baker (1903-1986) who she describes as an “important grassroots organizer and perhaps most influential woman in the civil rights movement. Baker’s desire to know and place her visitor was characteristic of what had been important to her throughout her life. The question, ‘Now, who are your people?’ symbolizes Baker’s approach to life-history as well. Who one’s people were was important to Ella Baker, not to establish an elite pedigree, but to locate an individual as a part of a family, community, a region, a culture, and a historical period. Baker recognized that none of us are self-made men or women; rather we forge our identities within kinship networks, local communities and organizations.”

Karen started her series titled REVISionary Prints in response to her experience growing up in a black community of Washington, D.C., and how it has been affected by the worlds' current political climate. The phrase "Make America Great Again” pushed Karen to reflect on our country's history and the basic fact that life for African Americans and women has never been better than right now.

As a black woman born in the 1960's, Karen uses her artwork to celebrate herself, her family and her community's increasing presence in pop culture. Karens' work tells the story of her childhood, heroes and the leaders of her community who fought so hard to make this growth possible.

Karen has been hard at work in her studio editioning her most recent relief print. You can see and purchase her work at and

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