After earning a bachelor's degree in theatre arts at the University of Oregon, Karin Clarke wasn't ready to stop learning. She decided to enroll in Lane Community College's graphic arts program. In 2000 she finished the program with an associate's degree in graphic design.
Based on the strong portfolio and skills she developed while at Lane, she was hired by Inovar Advertising and Design as a graphic designer. When the company closed a year later, Karin happily returned to Lane to take more fine arts classes. "The instructors were great and very supportive as I tried to decide what my next step would be" she says.
In the spring of 2002 Karin traveled to Italy spending nearly two months doing paintings of the Italian countryside with her mother. During her travels, she was inspired by the numbers of Italian businesses that were run by generations of family members, all working together. A child of artists, Karin knew that she wanted to do something that would bring her family together around their art.
In the fall of 2002 she opened the Karin Clarke Gallery in downtown Eugene. Her first show featured work by her parents, Mark Clarke and Margaret Coe. Today the gallery offers our community a glimpse into the rich and brilliant history of 20th century Northwest painting and sculpture as well as the work of emerging regional artists.
Karin also worked closely with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art staff, coordinating a gallery showing of the work of the late painter David McCosh.
In addition to regularly curating shows for her own gallery, Karin often volunteers her time to support the arts in our community. She has served on numerous art selection committees for local institutions, including Lane's new Health and Wellness Center. Later this year, she will serve as juror for both the Mayor's Art Show in Eugene, and the Celebrate Arts Show in Florence.