Born in New Jersey and raised in?rural Connecticut, Karen Hackenberg developed her first connections to the natural world on the shores of Long Island Sound. She earned her BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and upon graduating moved west.
In the San Francisco Bay Area she worked?in architecture and ecological textile design, honing her environmental values and educating her eye to the juxtaposition of man-made shapes and natural forms. After a decade and a half in California she migrated to the Pacific Northwest, and now lives along the shoreline of Discovery Bay near Port Townsend Washington, again surrounded by an ever-present natural landscape. Her past experience have heightened her awareness of this naturally blessed region’s struggle to find balance between its increasing population and development and its preservation of wild places.
Hackenberg has exhibited extensively in museums and galleries around the Northwest and across the nation, including an ocean-themed exhibition Beneath the Surface: Rediscovering a World Worth Conserving at ?the American Association for the Advancement of Science headquarters in Washington DC, and in a solo show at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, where she was interviewed by art critic Gary Faigin for a live-audience podcast. In Neo-Naturalists, a group exhibition at the Museum of Northwest Art, Hackenberg participated in a panel discussion on the topic of climate change along with fellow artists and prominent NOAA scientists.
Her green sensibility has been prized by many private collectors and has earned a place in numerous permanent public collections including the New York? State Museum in Albany and Providence Medical Center near Seattle.
Five of her paintings? were recently ?purchased for the Washington State Art Collection, and are also included in the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. She was awarded an Artist Trust (Seattle) GAP grant?to turn her Watershed series into a limited edition bound book by Marquand Editions and Paper Hammer.
Hackenberg has attended many artist residencies, including IslandWood: School in the Woods, where she develops her own artwork and shares her love of art and preservation of nature with the children of the Seattle area communities.