Concentrating on mixed media objects, collages and installation, Karen Snouffer explores the tensions in visual and physical movement and the power of contradiction. Her work is inspired by dance; identity and place; connections with nature; and the intersections of two-dimensional and three-dimensional space. Materiality is basic to her work in the merging of non-traditional media with conventional techniques. Having worked with a mathematician in a collaborative studio art class, she discovered another influence, Chaos Theory – that randomness and structure share mutual roles in the natural world, the social world, in works of art and art processes.
Snouffer has exhibited at: Art Center South Florida, Miami; The Work Space, New York; Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art; Weston Art Gallery, Cincinnati; Hammond Harkins Gallery, Columbus, OH; The Ohio State University Center for the Humanities; Poor Dog Space, Los Angeles; Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis; and La Médiathèque, Epernay, France. She is a former residency fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA, and a past Artist in Residence at Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA; a recipient of six Ohio Arts Council individual artist fellowships; a GLCA New Directions Initiative; and a McGregor Foundation Global Exchange Grant to France. She is represented by Hammond Harkins Gallery in Columbus, Ohio.
In the fall of 2016 and 2018, she taught in Rome, Italy, as a Kenyon College Professor of Art. There a new studio direction developed, emerging from the intense urban environment and exposures to Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. In 2017, for the aforementioned collaborative class, "Math in the Studio," students explored with faculty the connections and intersections shared by the fields of math and art. She and her math colleague presented a paper on this class in 2018, in Stockholm at the Bridges conference.
Snouffer has collaborated with poets, dancers, sculptors and new media artists. Her work has been published in three books: The Next Hedgerow; Love Life; Love Life: Memory and Nature at Play; and Somatic Principles and Dance. She was featured in the fall 2021 issue of Venti, an interdisciplinary online journal.
Snouffer received both her BS in Education and her MFA at The Ohio State University.
As a Professor Emerita at Kenyon College, she has a studio and residence in Gambier, Ohio.