Karen Schumacher spent a lot of her childhood wandering around the textile factory owned by her parents. From an early age, she would watch as the machines transformed one material into another, and she remembers always being transfixed by the process of creation.

      After graduating from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a B.F.A. in Fashion Design, she moved out West and worked as a craftsperson in such areas as pattern making, machine knitting, couture sewing, and textile restoration. With this varied set of work experiences, she began to realize that much of the craftsmanship left in America, the ability to make things well by hand, was under appreciated and at-risk of extinction.

       When Karen moved to Bisbee a few years ago, she realized it was the perfect location for a craft school- she knew that local artists and craftspeople could benefit from the supplemental income gained by teaching workshops and visiting students would be inspired by the unusual aesthetics of this small town. With this purpose in mind, she hopes to build Bisbee's reputation as an artist community and an art epicenter of the American Southwest.

      Karen is a member of Central School Project, a local art co-op; chair of the Bisbee Arts Commission; and she also writes a column about the arts, The Art Agenda, for the local paper, The Bisbee Observer. She is always searching for new ways of helping her arts community.

(The painting she is holding in the photo is by Charles Marie, a local artist.)