Searching for a New Normal
2022 Members Exhibition



Karen Viola

Karen works and resides in White Plains, NY. Her work finds expression in unconventional, mixed media book forms inspired by her love of nature. She designs innovative children’s books and runs her own business and micro publishing imprint, Climbing Tree Press, offering book art editions, prints, and hand-dyed textiles.

We the Children

This book, “We the Children,” was my response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas and the ongoing carnage of gun violence in these Divided States. Art as activism is a new direction I am increasingly compelled to explore. It features a page of 'magnetic poetry' where the exact words of the Second Amendment can be reconfigured in a myriad of ways as a meditation on the fact that scholars, pundits, politicians, and citizens still debate its meaning and use or abuse this accordingly. The book also shares website links to organizations dedicated to gun violence prevention.

5.5 x 5.5 inches
Ink on paper, magnetic sheet and magnets, string


As human society wakes up to its own fragility and unsustainable lifestyle, I am challenging myself to find my own New Normal as an artist and maker by making use of ‘single-use’ plastic as a medium and substrate. This book, “Temple,” speaks to my return to the arms of trees, which offer a meditative space of solace through all of life’s seasons in the face of so much existential angst. With the exception of the painted paper strips of text and binding thread, the book is made out of fused plastic food packaging.

4 x 11 inches (closed) or 9 x 11 inches (open)
Fused plastic bags, painted paper, and thread