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Colorful art by WMU alumna on display through August

by Mark Schwerin

Aug. 4, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of White Tulip by Karen MAtson.
"White Tulip" by Karen Matson
KALAMAZOO--An exhibit featuring works by a Western Michigan University alumna that push color to extremes is on display at her alma mater.

Karen Matson's colorful, bold work is on exhibit in the second-floor gallery of the WMU College of Health and Human Services Building. Recently retired from Kalamazoo Valley Community College's Center for New Media, Matson has been on a path of artistic self-discovery for several years.

Matson holds a bachelor's degree in art history and a master's degree in art education from WMU. For more than 35 years, she taught students from middle school through college how to express themselves.

"I've nurtured, cajoled, prodded and pushed my students to use their imaginations and creative talents in ways that allow them to freely explore their ideas without fear of failure," says the artist. "Now it's my turn."

Matson has expanded her own artistic pursuits in painting, drawing and work in polymer clay and shows her work in various galleries and art exhibits in Michigan. Her subjects are clearly floral in nature, but not true to form and anatomy.

"To me," she states, "it's all about pushing color to extremes and paying homage to the beauty of nature."

People can see Matson's work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, through August.

For more information, contact Gay Walker, program coordinator for the college's Holistic Health Program, at (269) 387-3839 or