Born in New York City, Karen Horne was raised in California and Utah. She drew and sculpted from an early age. She was fortunate to grow up in a home where art was both created and collected. She was inspired by her mother, Phyllis F. Horne, a noted landscape painter, also her great-grandmother, Alice Merrill Horne, a champion of the arts who founded The Utah Art Institute in 1899 (now Utah division of Arts and Museums) and who fostered the work of outstanding early Utah Artists.
Karen Horne attended Skyline, and went on to Yale University, graduating with honors and distinction in the art major. After earning an MFA in Painting at Indiana University, she continued her studies in Florence and Rome. In 1985 Karen moved to New York City. She worked at the noted museum, The Frick Collection, and actively painted and exhibited her work. During this period her work was facilitated by several grants to develop paintings of New York’s street life, parks and urban gardens. Missing family and the mountains, she and her husband Michael Rowley returned to SLC in 1996. They opened the studio/gallery HORNE Fine Art near downtown in 2003.
Over the years, Karen has been fortunate to receive numerous awards for her work. She was one of two Utah Artists, in 2004, to be selected by NY Observer critic Mario Naves for the Utah Arts Council/NEA funded Visual Arts Fellowship. She was honored to receive the 2013 Mayor’s Visual Artist Award for “significant contribution to the cultural life of SLC. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in major cities, and is included in public collections including State of Utah Collection, Hilton Hotel, Fairview Museum, Springville Museum, and American Express. She was voted one of the 100 “Most Honored Artist of Utah” by the Cultural Olympiad Committee in 2002. Her work is numerous private and corporate collections nationally.
Karen Horne’s artwork is noted for its lively color and deft descriptions of people.
In New York she depicted the city’s street-life and open spaces. Since returning to Utah, she has continued to explore city life, including classic downtown landmarks of SLC, such as the Capitol Theater, and City County building. An amateur ballroom dancer, Horne has also painted series on ballet dancers, waltzers, and tangoers. She was honored to be commissioned in 2015 by Ballet West to create artwork for the commemoration of the Diamond Anniversary of the Nutcracker.
“Best Impressionist Paintings of Salt Lake City” ARTY AWARD City Weekly
“These (Karen Horne’s) canvases pulse with real enjoyment of brush on canvas” – George Dibble, Salt Lake Tribune
“Her spontaneous, lush brushwork and her strength of color are reminiscent of Bay Area artists: her subjects verge on abstraction and play wonderfully with the eye.”- Dave Gagon, Deseret Morning News
“in the thrall of oil paint, employing it with gusto.” – Mario Naves, Art Critic for the NY Observer