Collection: Phillips-Curran, Karen

 From 1973-1997, Karen worked freelance, as a draftsman, a graphic designer, an illustrator and private art teacher.

From 1997 to the 2015-16 season, Karen painted English and French theatre sets, at our National Arts Center in Ottawa. There, she created hard sets, floors, and canvas backdrops of many sizes and styles, making use of a wide variety of faux theatrical techniques, honing her skills as an artist.

She has also helped to create new exhibits in venues at the CBC, CJOH, CTV,  the Museums of Nature and Civilization, as well as for the Museum of Federation, and Science and Technology and the National Gallery. She has had an opportunity to work with many of the top designers in Canadian theater, museum display and television. As a direct result of this experience, her own work took on a monumental scale.

Born in Canada, her work is collected at home, the United States, Bermuda and Europe.


Having been a lifelong creative, my imagery and media change with time and tide. Twenty years of theatre set painting imbedded a sense of monumentality to my work. Minimalism and clarity is my stylistic moniker.

As the world becomes increasingly globalized, some symbols increase in universal value, others become obtuse to outsiders more than ever.

If we don’t go beyond our borders, we never know.