Artist: “I remember the day I was inspired to create my first painting. I wore a plastic apron and surrounded myself with tempera paints. I painted a giant sun disc and when I finished, I had this huge sense of Wow!”
Over the years Karen has exhibited extensively nationally and abroad; in galleries, museums, and beyond. She has been commissioned to create numerous public art projects for the King County Council Chambers in Seattle, Seattle-Tacoma Airport, Overlake Transit Center in Redmond and more.
Always drawn to leadership roles, Karen taught art at Seattle Pacific University, The Factory of Visual Art, and at Centrum in Port Townsend. She has also been very active in the Northwest art scene as the President of the board of Artist Trust.
In 1989 Guzak found herself in need of a community of artists. While most of us might join a club, Karen found a warehouse and converted it into artist’s live/work spaces: Sunny Arms Artist Cooperative, (named for its proximity to the Sunny Jim peanut butter factory) where she lived and worked.
A few years later she did a repeat performance, renovating a building into the Union Art Cooperative developed with Gene and Lois Graham.
Councilmember: “In junior high, I was the president of the student council. I was very interested, even then, in taking a leadership role and being of service.Community service is a great opportunity for spiritual growth, working for a more peaceful, effective, celebratory community. It’s a big art project that improves the quality of life for a lot of people. I want to have my life count for something. I want to make a positive impact in some way. To make a difference.”
And so she does. The wow that she felt as a four-year-old after her first painting of the sun is the resounding feeling of anyone lucky enough to cross paths with her. Whether enjoying her art, collaborating with her on a project, being in her living/work space or feeling the impact of the positive community changes that she’s behind, the Guzak wow factor is huge.
Yogi: “I started yoga when I was 50. I wasn’t at home with how I wanted to be in my body. After a while, I realized that in order to really commit to yoga in a meaningful way, I needed to teach. I opened a studio. I thought it would be helpful for the community. I love spreading the principals of yoga. It’s all about creating peace of mind and passing it on.”
And it is. Yoga Circle Studio is a successful business, offering over 25 yoga classes a week.
Excerpts from “The He(art) of Community” by Lisa Halpern, published in The Cornish Magazine, InSight 2010.
. . . .
Behind every great woman, there is a man painting her church … and other chores. Our project became known as the Church of Perpetual Chores.
Related to restoring the first Catholic Church of Snohomish, Warner began digging into the history of the town, primarily through historic photographs that resulted in his book Early Snohomish, published in 2007 by Arcadia Publishing.
Since then Warner has written a monthly blog, first titled “Snohomish Then and Now” which was published in the Snohomish County Tribune for seven years.
This past summer we celebrated the release of our fine art book
J.S. White Our First Architect: Documenting His Surviving Structures from 19th-Century Snohomish.