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Waynesboro artist’s work on exhibit in Staunton’s CoArt Gallery

By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press

Karen Rosasco
Photo courtesy Karen Rosasco

STAUNTON — Every day we see, hear, smell and process the world around us.

But Karen Rosasco takes her observations and immortalizes them in art.

Her work is on exhibit this month at CoArt Gallery in “Kaleidoscope.”

Rosasco trained in art in college, but after the birth of her twin daughters, she put her paint brushes aside.

When she was 30 years old, she picked them up again.

“Then I started painting seriously again,” Rosasco, who was born in Pennsylvania and now lives in Waynesboro, said.

Rosasco was an art teacher for 31 years, the last 18 years of which in a high school in New York.

Rosasco Tree Sitting
Photo courtesy Karen Rosasco

“I think anybody who has a creative spirit wants to do something,” Rosasco, 78, said.

She began in watercolors, dabbled in weaving, but by 1990 was focused on fluid acrylics “because it is just easier to control” yet still fluid like water colors.

Each painting she creates can take from four to six hours, depending on how many layers are necessary to create what she hopes to convey in the piece.

“It’s a history almost,” Rosasco said of her collage pieces which can require many layers of paint.

“Kaleidoscope” features 11 pieces in varying sizes from 12×12 to 30×40.

“I’m always inspired by my outside world,” she said of her pieces at CoArt Gallery.

In “Jewels Are Where You Find Them,” Rosasco was inspired by a dream she had and the wish to be a geologist.

Field trips with high school seniors in New York inspired “Urban Tapestry,” in which Rosasco created an “abstracted city.”

A tour of the ruins on Santorini Island, near Greece, inspired “Akrotiri.”

“I hope [visitors are] energized by seeing something unique,” Rosasco said of her pieces on exhibit at CoArt Gallery through the month of January.

She said her art is her version of “taking reality in” and “processing it my way and taking it in.”

“It’s my vision of the world.”

The most unusual piece in “Kaleidoscope” is “Tree Sitting,” a 30×40 piece inspired by Rosasco’s childhood as the oldest of five children.

As a young girl, Rosasco would escape up a tree with a book to get alone time and read.

“But the look when you are up in a tree and looking through the leaves is what I painted,” she said.

CoArt Gallery is at 22 West Beverley Street in downtown Staunton.


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