First Friday Santa Cruz



Karuna Gutowski

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Mixed Media

My work is grounded in nature, the reading of the landscape, and the atmospheric conditions created by our Pacific coastal environment. I work with observation, representation and the abstraction of geological features, patterns of plant growth, and atmospheric conditions. I am interested in capturing the essence of the wild and natural environment, and have it be a part of my everyday life.

As an artist my intent is to highlight or reveal the importance of this connection - our interconnection with nature - as important to our well being and the well being of the planet. Artist James Turrell describes our existence on earth as "living at the bottom of an atmospheric ocean". Observing nature from this perspective changes my orientation. I spend a lot of my artistic practice responding to observations in nature, in my sketchbook, and bring these observations into my studio practice. I go to the beach, the forest, wide open spaces, lakes, rivers, the Pogonip, Henry Cowell, Fall Creek (a favorite), the UCSC Aboretum and sketch, hoping to respond and emote that response onto paper. Back in the studio, I work from the memory of that experience, using the sketch as a guide.


  • BA in Studio Art and Psychology, Vermont College
  • Certificate in Graphic Design, UC Berkeley
  • Art2Life Creative Visionary Program (CVP) with Nicholas Wilton

‚ÄãSolo Shows

  • 2019 Kilauea - Painting on an Active Volcano, Red Dot Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA
  • 2018 Quan Yin Series: Transcendence of Gender, India Joze, Santa Cruz, CA
  • 2017, 2018, 2019 Open Studios, Santa Cruz County, CA
  • 2016, 2017 Untitled, Well Within Spa, Santa Cruz, CA
  • 2015 Start Where You Are, Well Within Spa, Santa Cruz, CA
  • 2004 Icons, Expressions of the Spirit, 4th St Fine Art, Berkeley, CA
  • 2003 Day of the Dead, Club Six, San Francisco, CA

Select Group Exhibitions

  • 2021 91st Annual California Landscape Exhibition (Juried), SCAL, Santa Cruz, CA
  • 2021 Sugar High, Jen Tough Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
  • 2020 Kitchen Sink Challenge, Jen Tough Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
  • 2018, 2019, 2022 Art To Go - Pajaro Valley Arts, Watsonville, CA
  • 2017 Momentum Showing, Santa Cruz, CA
  • 2012 The Vessels of Manifestation, Black Rock City, NV
  • 2011 Library of Journals, Black Rock City, NV
  • 2004 Fresh Paint Artists Group, San Francisco & Napa, CA
  • 2003 Right Mind(s), Emeryville, CA
  • 2003-04 Spring Art Show, San Geronimo, CA


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