Medium : mixed media, acrylic and paper

Cara Foster Karim
mixed media, acrylic and paper
Statement / Bio
I am currently working on a series of paintings which I’m really excited about. For years I have been using my art to celebrate ordinary neighborhood scenes using oil paints. Over the past year, I’ve been learning a new method: collage with paper and acrylics. I’ve been experimenting with tissue paper, newspaper, painted paper, and various types of glazes. It’s a messy, iterative process that for me is the perfect way to explore the beauty and diversity of urban landscapes through color and texture.
I primarily use newspapers printed in a variety of different languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Bengali, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. I glaze and tint the newsprint before cutting it up, soaking it in water, and painting it onto my canvas; and then glazing and painting over it some more.
I use this process to depict layered cities of skyscrapers, sidewalk scenes, or urban bridges; each covered in text representing different languages. My desire is to show that immigrants from around the world are an important and beautiful part of our cities, communities, and neighborhoods. In my work, the built environment reflects and represents the diverse peoples who live in it, create it, and give it meaning.

Cara is an oil painter and mixed media artist living and working in Somerville, Massachusetts. She studied studio art at Dartmouth College but worked for almost 10 years in affordable housing and urban planning research before coming back to art full time. When not painting, she loves cooking, rock climbing, volunteering at a local kids’ soccer camp, and spending time with her husband, her 3-year-old son, and her 9-month-old daughter.