There is a place that exists outside of understanding that can be fleetingly accessed through belief and play. I strive to create art that sets out from this place and journeys into the new and infinite unknown of imagination by means of suggested narratives, pauses in action, and other moments that offer traces of becoming.
Art and education are entwined in my personal and professional practice. Sharing creative experiences with others opens an environment for teaching and learning. Process and discovery are central to both my own art making and my educational interests. My goal is to make works that contribute an authentic and relevant voice within the dialogue of art through connected, considered, and innovative thinking, learning, and creative practices.

self-portrait 2016

Karen McGarry is a Cincinnati-based artist, arts educator, and advocate for innovative arts education practice. She is currently (August 2017) a doctoral graduate student at University of Cincinnati (UC) in the Educational Studies program, concentrating in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education. Prior to returning to graduate school, McGarry taught in the Art Education program at DAAP, UC, and, while living in Los Angeles, she was an adjunct at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) in art education as well as a high school visual arts and humanities teacher at Arroyo Pacific High School, Arcadia, CA. Her active studio practice includes making artworks in various media along with generating work for her PhD dissertation as part of her arts-based research practice. She has lived, worked, and exhibited in London, Dublin, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.  She has a Masters in Art Education (MAAE) from the University of Cincinnati, an MFA in studio practice and a Minor in Women's Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a BFA from Wayne State University, Detroit. She is a member and former officer of the National Art Education Association and served as the editor of The Painted Monkey, the newsletter of the California Art Education Association, from 2013-2016

Selected Recent Exhibitions


Inside the Box, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio 2013

CAEA Members Exhibition, Idyllwild Art Center, California, 2013

Authors, Editors, Composers, Russell C. Myers Alumni Center, University of Cincinnati, 2013

DAAP Works, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH – Director’s Choice Award 2011

Yeck Fellowship Exhibition, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio 2011

Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Faculty Exhibition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2009

Bookworks 9, 10, 16, 17, Cincinnati Public Library, Cincinnati, Ohio 2009-2017

Surroundings, annual group show, Art in the Market space, Cincinnati, Ohio 2009, 2010

Fitton Art Center, group show, Hamilton, Ohio 2008

lite brite indie pop & film test, Covington, Kentucky 2006

Underneath Cincinnati Summer Film Screening, Cincinnati, Ohio 2006

360°, The Roundhouse, London, 2001

Oxford Film and Video Festival 2000, Magdalen Road Studios, Oxford, UK

Artworks, Magdalen Road Studios, Oxford, UK 2000

Lovideo, Vedanta Gallery, Chicago, IL 2000

Vision 21, Inc., LL Gallery, NY 2000

hands, 2016

Selected Conference Presentations & Publications



McGarry, K. (2019). Reflexivity as a process for coming into knowing. Learning Landscapes, 12(1), 155-170. "Stronger Together: Making STEAM,  https://www.learninglandscapes.ca/index.php/learnland/index

 McGarry, K. (2019). Stronger togehter STEAM partnerships. CIRCE Magazine, 92-99, http://www.circesfu.ca 

McGarry, K. (2018). Making Partnerships with STEAM, Art Education, 71(2), 28-34, https://doi.org/10.1080/00043125.2018.1414535 


Visualizing and Making in an ELD Humanities, NAEA National Convention, Chicago, IL 2016

Integrating Art Through Practicum Partnershipsin Teacher Preparation, NAEA National Convention, Chicago, IL 2016

 Contemplate, Create, Innovate, NAEA National Convention, San Diego, CA 2014

 Elements & Principles of Art and Design/Retrofitting Language Use in Art Education,  NAEA National Convention, Baltimore MD2012

Fostering an Art Education Toolbox, NAEA National Convention, New York, NY 2011

House of Aesthetics/Visualizing Aesthetics for Pre-Service Art Education Students,  CAEA Conference, Irvine, CA 2014

Contemplate, Create, Innovate, CAEA Conference, Idyllwild, CA 2013

Contemplate, Create, Innovate, STEMx Online Conference, 2013 


Find selected papers on Academia.edu

Awards and Honors


Director’s Choice Award, DAAP, University of Cincinnati, OH 2011

Ohio Art Education Association Scholarship Award Recipient, OAEA 2011

Yeck Fellowship, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH 2011

Outstanding Graduate Student Award, GSGA, University of Cincinnati, OH, 2011,

Ox-Bow Artist Residency, School of the Art Institute Chicago, Saugatuck, MI, 1999,

© 2016 by Karen McGarry