Karen D. Miller is a contemporary textile artist and writer who uses her work to illuminate the overlooked and the undervalued. From her graduate level education in law and social systems, through her professional career as a lawyer, to her life as a mother, Karen has always been aware of the difference between what she has been told “should be” the experience of women and what actually “is”. Karen explores the concept of self-identity and societal perceptions as they relate to women in modern life, including how they change as we mature, how they affect us throughout our lives, and how the uniquely complicated and all-consuming experience that is motherhood upends everything we ever knew. Her work demonstrates a wider sympathy for all manner of things under-appreciated and misunderstood, expressing the fundamental optimism that one day recognition and understanding will be attained.

Karen’s textile art has been shown in exhibitions across Canada and the United States and included in publications around the globe. She is passionate about helping women find their voices through art; her book Eyes Open to the World: Memories of Travel in Wool and her frequent magazine articles all use her own artistic discoveries to encourage others to find and nurture their own artistic expression. She is the founder and organizer of In the Studio, a monthly online opportunity for anyone to hear artists present their work and artistic experiences. She is a member of 44.4 Mothers/Artists Collective in Ottawa, and of Craft Ontario. Her next book, The Art of Mothering: Our Lives in Colour and Shadow (forthcoming in 2022) chronicles the complexities of motherhood by featuring her own work and over twenty collaborators. And starting in September 2021, she will be starting a new adventure at the University of Ottawa in art history. Karen lives and works out of her studio in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Contact Karen at info@karendmillerstudio.com

Career Highlights

Art Education

Enrolled in Art History at the University of Ottawa from September 2021.

Major Exhibitions and Awards

  • Featured Artist (Ontario Hooking Craft Guild Annual, Ottawa, Ontario, 2018)
  • First Place, Original Designs for “A Mother’s Worry” (Ontario Hooking Craft Guild Annual, 2018)
  • Three time finalist and one time Honourable Mention in Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs, 2013-2017
  • Postcards from Newfoundland: Rug-Hooking the Rock (solo exhibition, Corner Brook, Newfoundland, 2015)
  • Frame / fraym (solo exhibition with the generous support of ARTicipate grant from the AOE Arts Council, Ottawa, Ontario, 2015)
  • Celebrating Colour in Fibre (group exhibition with five other Canadian fibre artists, Toronto, Ontario, 2015)
  • Colours Caught in Fibre (organized and exhibited in group exhibition with four other Canadian fibre artists, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, 2014)
  • Viewer’s Choice Award for “Solitude” (Hooked in the Mountains XVI, Shelburne, Vermont, 2012)

Select Publications

  • The Art of Mothering: Our Lives in Colour and Shadow (forthcoming in 2022 through Ampry Publishing)
  • Eyes Open to the World: Memories of Travel in Wool (Ampry Publishing, November 2019). Click to buy on Amazon and at Rug Hooking Magazine.
  • Nine articles in Rug Hooking Magazine from 2016-2021
    • Frame Your Hooking as Art (3 part series)
    • Snapshots from Wonderland: A Walk Through My Garden
    • Celebrating My Two Loves: Hooking Portraits in Yarn
    • How to Hook With Yarn: Just Do It!
    • Postcards from Newfoundland: Island Dreams in Wool
    • From Little Hands: Hooking with Children
    • Breaking the Frame: Hooking Past My Limits
  • Three articles in A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine from 2016-2017
    • Artist Review: Twisted
    • Artist Review: Through the Trees
    • Artist Review: Beyond Swallowtail
  • Also featured in Little U Magazine, Uppercase Magazine, Designed by You: Ideas and Inspirations for Rug Hookers (Tamara Pavich, 2017), Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs XXIII, XXIV, XXV and XXVII (Debra Smith (editor)), Ontario Hooking Craft Guild magazine, and more.

Teaching and Community Involvement

  • Teacher at:
    • Fibrefest (Almonte, Ontario, 2018)
    • Green Mountain Rug School (Montpelier, Vermont, 2018)
    • Ontario Hooking Craft Guild Annual (Ottawa, Ontario, 2018)
  • Teacher of beginning and advanced courses for adults from my studio, online and at guild events since 2015
  • Course PDF “Hand Woven and Hand Hooked: Creating Woven Backgrounds for Hooked Fibre Art” available on Etsy here.
  • Teacher for children at schools and Scouts Canada events since 2015