About the Artist

Karl finds creative potential in every object he encounters, large and small. As he traverses the roads, landscapes, and abandoned homesteads of rural Minnesota, he collects discarded materials of all kinds for his sculptures. Out of such seeming detritus, he creates whole worlds that invite investigation into what is beautiful.

Americans for the Arts recently honored Karl through its Public Art Network Year in Review program for his sculpture, “Ruminant (The Grand Masticator). The large-scale sculpture is comprised of a harvesting combine clad in 34 backlit, agriculturally themed stained-glass panels. It will be permanently installed as the centerpiece in a downtown park in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. Karl’s other large-scale work has been featured on NBC’s Today Show and Voice of America.

Karl’s smaller-scale work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. It’s been acclaimed in such publications as The New York Times and Art in London Magazine. About these sculptures he says, “I create little worlds that are overlapping with each other, because they’re a perfect metaphor for our day-to-day. Things that are viewed as unpleasant or ugly often become beautiful if looked at in a different light, so I challenge people to redefine their perceptions. Look closer, and the grotesque morphs into something serene or even funny – something that stirs the heart.”

Named a 2013 CityPages Artist of the Year, Karl earned his BA from Winona State University and his MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He has taught at the university level and continues to direct various educational programs from summer apprenticeships to metal-casting workshops.