Emile A. Gruppe Gallery presents Karen Bell "Scherenschnitte Images"


Artist Reception Sunday, June 11 2- 4 pm Show dates May 21 -June 25

Artist Bio

As a native Ohio farm girl, I spent much of my time creating my own entertainment. My passions, from the time I was four, were playing my violin, playing outdoors, and playing with paper. My mother would always give me scissors and paper to cut and paste, create some often times obscure pictures, or just to cut out pictures for a scrapbook. I remember being fascinated by the shapes that one could form by cutting strips of paper, tossing them into the air, and watching them land in strange patterns. Perhaps my interest was only natural since I am partly of Pennsylvania Dutch descent. These Germans brought the paper cutting tradition to America; hence, the name Scherenschnitte which means, “the art of paper cutting into decorative designs.”

Eventually music became my career, and it was through music and teaching that I became reconnected with my love of paper. The art teacher, in the school in which I was teaching, brought some decorative paper patterns, and some specialized scissors to school for an after- school activity. Her instruction and encouragement were the beginning of my many years in which I have enjoyed creating paper cuts and exploring the history and cultures of other countries in which Scherenschnitte is a tradition.

I find that many of the elements of music, such as dynamics, line, harmony, texture, and melody, can be expressed with paper through design, texture of the paper, colors, etc. Many nights you will find me working on a new cutting after a symphony rehearsal or at the end of a day of teaching. When I am not cutting paper, you might find me enjoying playing chamber music at an event, playing for a wedding, or filling the role of a strolling violinist at a party, Many thanks to my two children for putting up with my paper scraps and innumerable questions about perspective, shapes, color combinations, and the famous question, “What do you think of this?” My husband, a writer and poet, and my major encourager, and I have published a book called, “Fusion: Art, Poetry, Thought.” Copies are available from the authors.

Upcoming events

VT Crafts Council Open Studio
Weekend May 27-28
artist on site hands on demo