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Art in Galería San Francisco

By Susan Santiago

Karen Lee Dunn has lived most of her adult life in Mexico. Her former work consisted of illustration and commercial art. She worked as assistant art director for international brands, such as Bacardi Rum, and then later for McCann Erickson in Mexico doing illustration for L’Oreal and other projects. Her freelance artwork for volunteer organizations was extensive, including illustration of cookbooks, publicity posters, and newspaper advertising. She exhibited her works at the annual American School Foundation Collective Art Fair for several consecutive years.

Work by Karen Lee Dunn and Susan Fiori
Fri, Feb 10, 6–8pm
Galería San Francisco
San Francisco 1, second floor, Plaza Principal,
152 0552

Upon retirement in 2008, she returned to her real passion, which was painting. Karen’s interest has always been capturing the faces and street scenes of Mexico, and San Miguel has become a magical source of inspiration, which never ceases to surprise and delight her. Her work can be found in private collections in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico City, and the US.

Susan Fiori creates dreamlike pieces, which she begins by constructing a wooden floor that she cuts to size on a table saw.  She then makes lateral “blind” cuts halfway through the wood so the metal pieces can slide down into the cut and be held. This creates the dimensional illusion from shallow space to deep space. She then cuts the metal pieces by hand with a jewelry saw, which is a time-consuming process; she uses copper, brass, and nickel, making subjective choices of which metals to use depending on the imagery.

After sanding the metal further, personality is added through torching (the heat creates interesting colors), painting with both acrylics and special inks for metal, pounding, stamping, and etching, which give each piece a very individual look and focus.

Once the interior is created, she builds the box itself and then embellishes the outside of the wood with a technique called embossing.

The artist states, “ I am intrigued by metal, the alchemy of it,  the way it softens if you torch it, hardens when you pound it, changes colors through heat or patina, and is disguised by paint. My inspirations for subject matter come from a lifetime of interests in mythology, psychology, spiritual symbols, dreams, and general musings.

The opening reception for this very special exhibition will be held on Friday, February 10, from 6 to 8pm.


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