“Karen has the ability to reach and touch us through her artistic expression. Her lively whimsical masterpieces beckon us to stop, pause, reflect and then smile. In the often chaotic and harsh world we live in, it is delightful to have the opportunity to absorb and escape into the wonderment of Karen Rossi’s enchanting work!!!!”
Primary Care Coordinator
American Cancer Society
“Karen Rossi’s metal sculptures are unique and fresh.They catch your eye from across a room and make for great conversation pieces. She creates fun, fresh characters that everyone can relate to. They make you smile - and in my business, that’s worth its weight in gold.”
Beth Griffin, Associate Buyer
“Karen’s whimsical fantasy figures, whether mobiles or wall sculptures, give so much joy and pleasure. They are a delight to own.”
DeLind Fine Art
Karen, I just enjoy your pieces so much. I love to give them as presents, so that when the receipents look at them, they will always think of me and how much I enjoyed picking out the piece for them." - M. B.
"Greetings! I first saw your pieces in stores around Las Olas Blvd in Ft Lauderdale, FL. I bought one because the little "artist" poppet was an uncanny resembelence to a dear friend of mine who was also an artist. The ironic thing is she WAS (at the time in April) blind and the doll had beautiful blue lashes but holes for eyes... I bought it immediately...When it was presented to my friend, I described it to her. Just a little over two months ago she got her sight back and found it just as wonderful as before. So wonderful, in fact, she request we carry your pieces in our Los Angleles & Vinita, OK boutiques. We're all in love with your piece! Thanks so much!" - Andrea
Karen Rossi's childhood in an agricultural Connecticut River Valley town was tranquil and sheltered. As a youth, Karen loved to paint and draw, and did so prolifically. Summers were especially quiet, and Karen's mom encouraged her three daughters to use their imaginations and keep active. She told them stories from her own childhood, and of studio visits to her sculptor neighbor, Alexander Calder.
The Calder stories were the first of many strong influences on Karen. Her parents started their own aerospace welding business in the garage of their home. Struggles involved in running a fast-growing company consumed the entire family. During Karen's high school years, the '70s exposed her to politics, people, folk music, and storytelling. She loved nature and drew scenes from around her home, studying human life in her daily surroundings.
Karen's passion for art continued through university life where she studied foreign languages as well as a traditional foundation in painting and drawing. After college, she found community and a sense of belonging by volunteering and teaching children art, while taking classes and experimenting in different mediums. She took welding lessons from retired State of Connecticut Parks Department worker, Joe Coreale, and created a welded trout from mild steel, which she had to convince her welder father she'd crafted herself. Karen's dad was so impressed with her piece, he immediately set aside space for her in his welding shop. Once there, Karen found her father's love of metalworking infectious, and quickly started experimenting with steel, titanium, copper and brass on her own.
Soon, Karen was invited to show her works in metal at an emerging New England folk art gallery. She sculpted Gabriel the Herald Angel, often portrayed on the mastheads of ships, antique signage, and weathervanes. Her work caught the eye of several large Connecticut galleries, as well as restaurants, hospitals and corporations. Karen began to add broken crystals, charms and pieces of jewelry to her artwork. Inquiries for her charmed pieces skyrocketed, fueling her imagination and resulting in the development of more than 500 original characters… celebrating the seasons, holidays, professions, friends and family, children, hobbies and a host of other life-inspired themes.
After years of attending trade shows and marketing her original works, she developed a plan to license her designs. Managing both fine art and licensing careers consumed her. She licensed her artwork to several manufacturing companies, eventually signing a contract with Silvestri®. Within two years of the initial January 2000 release of 12 three-dimensional metal characters for that company, retail sales of Karen Rossi's Fanciful Flights™ by Silvestri® topped $30 million annually. Karen is currently licensing her characters to a variety of firms who produce and market embroidery design cards, dolls, promotional and stationery items, scrapbooking and papercrafting supplies, gifts and decorative products, and garden statuary and accessories.
Karen relates art to the healing process as artist in residence at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Conn., and considers this work to be the most meaningful part of her career. Participating in charitable endeavors and showcasing her works in the places where everyday life is played out continue to be of paramount importance to her. She holds fast to her New England roots and will forever be influenced by her family and interactions with others. Today, in her studio, Karen Rossi continues to create her stories in metal as well as in paintings, murals, and clay. It's a gift for which she is very grateful and feels compelled to share with the world.
AWARDS, HONORS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
2009 Featured Artist, HGTV ‘That’s Clever’
2008 Guest, “Full Bloom,” Television interview with Zita Christian, CT
2008 Guest, “Pet Talk,” Television interview on Channel 12, CT
2007 Canadian Artisans Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
2006 Keynote speaker, West Hartford Rotary Club, West Hartford, CT
2005 Keynote speaker, Gift Fair, Atlanta, GA
2005 Corporator, St. Francis Hospital, Hartford, CT
2004 Guest speaker, Savings Bank of Rockville, South Windsor, CT
2004 Keynote speaker University of Connecticut Career seminar, Voices from the Field: Visual Arts
2004 Featured artist Connecticut Building, Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield MA
2004 Nawbo Artist of the Year 2004, Connecticut Chapter
2003 Recognized by New Orleans City Council for contribution to the Artist's Foundation Collection
2003 Keynote speaker, "HOT" Schools Conference, Connecticut Commission on the Arts
2003 Panel discussion leader, NAWBO Connecticut Business Expo, Hartford, CT
2003 Remarkable Woman In Business Award, Hartford Business Journal, Hartford, CT
2002 Keynote speaker, Connecticut Art Educators Association Conference
2002 Grand opening of the Karen Rossi Gallery, A Special Place, East Windsor, CT
2002 Nova Award for Best Overall New Product for 2002, Canadian Gift & Tableware Association
2002 Featured appearance on QVC
2002 A First Experience in Creativity exhibitor, First Experience Communications, Glastonbury, CT
2001 Connecticut Bloomer Award, Northeast Magazine, Hartford, CT
2001 Featured appearance on QVC
2001 Thematic images & pyrotechnic display, Mark Twain Days Fireworks Show, Hartford, CT
COMMISSIONS AND COLLECTIONS-RECENT
2010 “Believe”, Community Health Resources, Enfield, CT
2009 “Donor Recognition Tree”, Community Health Resources, Enfield, CT
2009 “Wreath Art Installation”, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
2009 “Let’s Play Memorial Wall Sculpture, Simsbury Public Library, Simsbury, CT
2007 “My Friends Place”, Boundless Playgrounds, South Windsor, CT
2007 “Better Beginnings”, Saint Francis Hospital, Hartford, CT
2007 “Jerusalem”, Philip Brody, Ridgewood, NJ
2007 “Asian Girl,” Pearl River, New York, NY
2006 "Wedding Chuppah", Denise Rosenberg, New York, NY
2005 Pine Grove Elem. School, Together We Share, Discover, Create & Achieve, Avon, CT
2005 South Windsor Library, Angels of Culture, South Windsor, CT
2005 "Garden Arch", Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, New Haven, CT
2005 Evergreen Walk, The Gabriels II, South Windsor, CT
2005 "Mosaic Throne", collaboration with Terra Gardens for Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford,CT
2004 If I Were a Rich Man….Or Woman…Or Beastie, Beastie Beat, Milwaukee, WI
2003 "Holiday Festivities" and "Fifties Girl" canvas murals, Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO
2003 "Uncle Sam" and "Lady Liberty" metal sculptures, Veterans Memorial Park, West Hartford, CT
2003 "RossiLand Mural," Wagon Road Camp Children's Aid Society, Chappaqua, NY
2002 Art sanctuary gate, Artists' Foundation Collection, A Studio in the Woods, New Orleans, LA
2002 "To Life," Beastie Beat, Milwaukee, WI
2001 Mark Twain House Ornament, White House, Washington, DC
2001 Mercy Health Care Community Wall Sculpture, WI
2001 "Uncle Sam" and "Lady Liberty" canvas murals, 225 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY
2001 "Adam and Eve," University of Nevada School of Medicine, Las Vegas, NV
2000 "Our World Revolves Around Kids," Baystate Hospital, Springfield, MA
2000 "To Life," Bieber Memorial, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford, CT
1999 "Places to go, People to see," St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford, CT
1999 "Pittsfield Community," Berkshire Medical Facility, Pittsfield, MA
1999 "Aquarium," Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
1998 Triptych for Farmington Valley Women's Health & Resource Center, Avon, CT
1998 "Springfield Vignettes," Baystate Hospital, Springfield, MA
1998 "Aquarium," Baystate Hospital, Springfield, MA
1997 "Angels on My Shoulder," St. Francis Care, Hartford, CT
1997 "Fit For Life," St. Francis Care, Hartford, CT
1997 "Baltimore Wall Sculpture," The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD
1997 "Flying Shoppers," Shop Rite of Lacey, Lanoka Harbor, NJ
1996 SAKS Fifth Avenue Mobile, New York, NY
1996 "Chef," Collection of Rocky H. Aoki, Benihana, Japan
1996 "Animal Wall Sculpture," Linda Carter and Robert Altman, Washington, DC
1995 "Born to Shop," Lucy Arnaz, CA
1995 "Hillary," The White House, Washington, DC
2010 Norfolk Public Library, Norfolk, CT
2009 Burlington Public Library, Burlington, CT
2008 Center Framing, West Hartford, CT
2007 Wave Gallery, New Haven, CT
2007 “Tea Ladies,” Mainly Tea, Wethersfield, CT
2007 Farmington Valley Art Center, Farmington, CT
2005 Terra Gardens, Vernon, CT
2002 CT Commission on the Arts, Visual Arts Showcases, Bradley Int'l Airport, Windsor Locks, CT
2001 Artful Hand Gallery, Copley Place, Boston, MA
2001 Paul Brent Gallery, Panama City, FL
2000 Ferrin Gallery, Northampton, MA
2000 Heather Gallery, Aspen, CO
2000 Zona, New York, NY
1999 "Artwalk," Pippens, New Orleans, LA
1999 "Retrospective," Saint Francis Hospital
1998 "Karen Rossi Recent Work," Ferrin Gallery, Northampton, MA
1998 Delind Fine Art, Milwaukee, CT
1997 Zyzyx, Festival at Woodholme, Baltimore, MD
1997 "The Art of Giving the Giving of Art," Fischer Gallery, Avon, CT
1997 "People and Places," 100 Pearl Gallery, Hartford, CT
1997-1992 "Great Circus Parade Mobiles," Delind Fine Art, Milwaukee, WI
1995 "Twain's World - A Mobile," Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT
1995 "V.S.A. Mural," Special Olympics, New Haven, CT
COMMISSIONS AND COLLECTIONS-OTHER
1995/1990 "ISG Mobile Installations", Booz, Allen & Hamilton; Dallas, New York, and London
1994 "A Mirrored Jungle", Howie Mandell, Boston, MA
1994 "Ariel, A Mermaid", University of Connecticut Health Center, Hartford, CT
1994 "Siren's Song", Hasbro Children's Hospital, Providence, RI
1993 "Circus Parade", Ernest & Tova Borgnine, Beverly Hills, CA
1993 "The Oysterman", City of New Haven, Quinnipiac River Park, New Haven, CT
1992 "La Sirena", Spoleto's Restaurant, Northampton, MA
1992 "Fountain of Teeth and Heart", Lobby Sculpture, Buckland Farms Medical Offices, So. Windsor, CT
1992 "The Oyster Man", Bronze Public Sculpture, New Haven, CT
1990 "Hartford", Theatre Works, Bronson and Hutensky Theater, Hartford, CT
1989 "Hartford Buildings", Colonial Realty, CT
1988 "School of Fish", Site-specific Mobile, Stamford Transportation Center, Stamford, CT
1987 "Wheels on Whalley", Whalley Avenue Special Services District, New Haven, CT
1987 "Happy Birthday", Lady Liberty", Wall Sculpture, Ellis Island Museum, New York, NY
1986 "Engine 84", Hartford Steam Boiler Company, Hartford, CT
1994 "Tropic of Capricorn", Pavo Real, Boca Raton, FL
1994 "Holiday Celebration", Neiman Marcus, White Plains, NY
1994 /1993 "New Orleans; Masked/Unmasked", Wyndy Morehead Fine Art, New Orleans, LA
1992 "Tall Ships Celebration Mobiles", Artful Hand, Boston, MA
1991 "An American Birthday Celebration", Gallerie Maas, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
1990 "Silver and Steel", Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT
1989 "Angels and Faeries", Holiday Window Exhibition, Bergdorf Goodman, New York, NY
2007-2010 Teacher - Creative Art Workshop, New Haven, CT
2008-2010 Teacher—Artsplace, Cheshire, CT
2008 Teacher – Brookfield Craft Center
2008 Teacher – Guilford Art Center
2008/2007 Teacher - Creative Art Ways, New Haven, CT
2007 Teacher – Wesleyan Potters
1999 Teacher - Neighborhood Studios, Greater Hartford Arts Council
1999 Teacher - The Center for Health Enhancement, St. Francis Hospital
1998-1999 Artist in Residence - Saint Francis Hospital
1990 Lecturer - Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina
1988 Artist in Residence - Artpark, Lewiston, New York
1984 Adjunct Professor - Southern Connecticut State College, Connecticut
1980 B.A., Southern Connecticut State University
1984-1986 Additional studies include: Penland School of Crafts, NC; University of Massachusetts, MA; Parsons School of Design, NY, NY; Brookfield Crafts Center, CT
2007 Cow Parade, West Hartford, CT
2007 Bear Affair, Norfolk, CT
2007 Whaler’s Whale, South Windsor, CT
2007 “My Friend’s Place” Boundless Playgrounds, South Windsor, CT
2006 "A Modern Tea", Acrylic Illustration, Community Health Network of CT, Inc.
2006 "Summer of Hope", Acrylic Illustration, Channel 3 Kids Camp
2006 "Find a Furrever Home", Acrylic Illustration, CT Humane Society
2006 "In the Company of Women", Acrylic Illustration, YWCA of the Hartford Region
2006 "Hartford," Acrylic Illustration, 2006 United Arts Campaign, Greater Hartford Arts Council
Rossi Studios is the New England based studio for artist/designer Karen Rossi. Rossi is a highly regarded artist/designer of one of a kind metal sculptures featuring whimsical characters, places and lifestyles. Her commissioned pieces are represented in public and private collections including hospitals, corporate lobbies and museums. The company was founded in 1980 and has quickly become internationally known. Rossi’s metal sculptures are represented in over 100 galleries in the United States and abroad, including Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and the Caribbean. Collectors include the White House, Howie Mandell, Ernest & Tova Borgnine, Helen Boehm, Susan Buffet, Booz Allen & Hamilton, Lucy Arnaz, the Mayo Clinic and The Baltimore Sun.
Workshops for kids & adults as well as open houses are located here!
During the summer, you can also often find Karen displaying and selling works at the Norfolk Farmer's Market.
From Winsted, CT: Use RT. 44 to Norfolk. At the Village Green in Norfolk take RT. 272 south towards Torrington. Proceed 4 miles to Estey Road (right turn onto Estey). Proceed up the hill 1/4 of a mile to the red house on the right.
From Torrington, CT: Coming from RT 8 to RT 4 to RT. 272 north to Estey Road. (Approx. 8-9 miles) make a left turn onto Estey Road. Caution = Estey is on a road curve of RT. 272 which requires caution in making left turn. Look for the old red school house on the left at the corner of 272 & Estey RD, and the old Goshen Rd. forks into 272 just before the sharp curve at the corner of 272 & Estey Rd.
This is the original home that was on the Norfolk property when Karen purchased it. Her colorful wall sculptures now grace the walls of the quaint little house.
The new barn houses many of Karen's original sculptures, and will eventually serve as a living space and a metal working studio.
The "pond house" overlooks the tiny lake that is located on the far end of the yard in Norfolk. This "Studio in the Woods Gallery" houses Karen's original metal sculptures.
Karen Rossi Studios finds a permanent home
After a couple years of drifting, moving from one location to another, and feeling a bit lonesome for a place to call home, Rossi Studios has finally found a permanent location. As is so often the case, the perfect spot ended up being right under our noses the whole time. The unfinished sunroom at Karen's house had been longing for a little TLC. The cement floors desired a covering, the cheerful blue walls deserved enjoyment by daily visitors, and the bright, breezy room itself was just waiting to be put to use.
Home Sweet Home
After observing these things, Karen realized that the next "headquarters" for Rossi Studios would be located right in her own home. The location is certainly idyllic. Charming "Beaver Pond" lies right outside our windows, Karen's beautiful gardens surround the house, and metal sculptures adorn the property, both inside and out. The new studio seems a win-win situation for all. Karen is thrilled to have left her long commutes behind her. The pretty blue room must certainly be glad to be filled with the hustle and bustle of an art studio. And Taco and Pucci couldn't be happier either. The comfy spots they love so much are now just a short trek down the hallway.
Karen has big plans for this new location. It is here that we will continue to create the products that recently debuted at the National Stationery Show in New York City. Orders are already being filled and new products are being created as well. Several commissioned wall sculptures are being created. In addition, we are putting the finishing touches on original pieces that will be exhibited at the Ellen Traut Collection both this month and next. So, despite the move and the change of scenery, we haven't missed a beat. We are settling into our new home and seeing what the future might hold.
Karen's house is now the new location for
Karen's garden sculptures surround
our new location.
Beaver Pond, which lies right outside the
windows of the new studio room, is a
perfect sight for daily inspiration.