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Exhibit in Earville, New York at the Earlville Opera House:
The 13th Annual Contemporary Art Quilts Exhibition will display the incredible fabric artistry of quilters from across the country. Explore the dynamic possibilities of botanical shapes and forms through the work of six talented art quilters. July 11- August 29th

Karel will be teaching workshops in the fall of 2015. Please see the workshops page for more information.
To learn more about Karel's musical performances, please visit our website at www.thefreerangestringband.com We are an acoustic duo playing Old Time Appalachian songs and tunes and sharing stories from the range. Karel and her husband Jonathan Lyerly will entertain you with banjo, fiddle, bass, guitar, mandolin and other surprises.
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Summer harvest!

Karel Krystin Hendee is an artist who primarily paints on silk and incorporates collage, appliqué, and quilting techniques to enhance design, texture, and depth. Drawing upon her background as a garden designer and yoga instructor she integrates images of nature and mysticism. Her work inspires viewers to appreciate and respect the natural and supernatural world we live in.  Ms. Hendee has taught silk painting, art quilting, and garden design workshops in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Utah, Nevada, and California.

Her other interests include playing old time Appalachian style banjo, upright bass, and clogging.  She enjoys gardening, hiking with her dog JB, swimming in lakes and rivers, and spending time with her husband, Jonathan.


Yoga Philosophy and Yoga Instruction, Ananda University 2007
Bachelors of Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon, 1994
Biology and Philosophy, Montana State University, 1988-1989
Academic Awards: Presidential Scholarship, Johnson Traveling Scholarship

Solo Exhibits:


“The Garden and Beyond”  Main Street Gallery, Weaverville, CA 2015

“In the Flow”  The Organic Grill, Nevada City, CA 2013

“Americana in Sight and Sound”  Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts,  Cedarburg, WI  2011

“Beauty and the Beet” Briarpatch Natural Foods, Grass Valley, CA – May 2009

“Silk, Paint, & Scissors” Summer Thymes Cafe, Grass Valley, CA June 2008
“Sadhana” Winona Art Center, Winona, MN 2005
“Water, Soul, Earth & Tears” Winona Art Center, Winona, MN 1999
“Common Visions” Natural Habitat, Winona, MN 1998

Collective Exhibits:

Earlville Galleries – Contemporary Art Quilts
Earlville Opera House in New York – an exhibit of contemporary art quilts July 11- August 29th.

“Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival”  Grass Valley, CA 2015

“Nevada County Open Studios Showcase” Center for the Arts, Grass Valley 2014

“Circle of Inspiration”  Summer Thymes Bakery and Deli, The Organic Grill, Nevada City, 2014

“Storytelling Festival” Nevada City, CA  North Columbia Schoolhouse  July 2012

“ASiF  Artists Studios in the Foothills:  Dig This” Grass Valley, CA May 2012

“Wild Women Artists” Elko, NV January 2010, January 2011, Feburary 2012

“Wild Women Artists” Reno, NV November 2009-January 2013

“Open Studios Tour” Tuscarora, NV  May 2011

“Mountain Art Quilters” Nevada City, CA Winery April 2011,  Summer Thymes Grass Valley, CA November 2009

“Natural Visions” Broad St. Bistro, Nevada City, CA January 2009

“Gratitude & Giving” Summer Thymes, Grass Valley, CA November 2008
“Pacific International Quilt Festival” Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA October 2008
“Storytelling Festival Art Show” North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center, Nevada City, CA July-august 2008
“Inspirational Arts” Ananda University, Nevada City, CA June 2007
“Community Art Show” North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center, Nevada City, CA July 2007
“Women of Fiber” Saint Mary’s University, Winona, MN 2004


“Sierra Food Wine Art”   2013-2015

“Edible Reno/ Tahoe Magazine”  “What’s in Season”  Fall/winter 2012

“Two Little Feet” Poems and Illustrations, Karel Hendee 2010

“Standing Among Birch Trees” Poems and Illustrations, Karel Hendee 1998
“The Prairie Reader” New Prague, MN 1998
Common Visions for Minnesota Blufflands Design Manual, Bob Hurt 1997
Friends of Kennicott, AK State Partnership Proposal, Ben Shaine 1995

Awards & Associations:

First place, Mixed media technique, Pinetree Quilt Show, Nevada County, May 2009

Artist of the Year, Greater Milwaukee Audubon Society & Festival, Milwaukee, WI 1999

Crafter’s Choice Award, Great River Festival, La Crosse, WI 1998
Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) 2008
International Quilt Association 2008
Mountain Art Quilters 2008




Working in the studio…



A selection of scarves



Artist’s Statement

I fell in love with silk and silk-painting when I was in my mid-twenties. After years of drafting and computer graphics in the Landscape Architecture Program at the University of Oregon, I was thrilled with the free expression of dye oozing onto silk and the vibrant luminescent colors. My silk-paintings have evolved into art quilts through the years. I love combining different fabrics with silk to add contrasting texture and tone. Quilting the silk creates angles and texture to catch the light in different ways. Piecing fabric together, like collage, is a very satisfying synthesis process. The end result of both silk-painting and fabric collage is unpredictable and mysterious. Each piece of art becomes an adventure.

My goals and aspirations as a fiber artist are both personal and communal. I find art to be the most helpful tool for me to explore and feel connected with the natural world, and to convey to others the beauty and fragility of our living environment. When I work with fabric and piece things together, I feel an integrative healing power come alive inside me. I enjoy celebrating the mysterious and miraculous qualities within and all around us. If my work expresses the spiritual beauty and playfulness of the natural world to others, then I feel my mission is accomplished.  Creating art brings peace, joy, and fulfillment to my soul, and I hope that in some small way I can cultivate peace, awareness, and positive change on the planet through my own experience.

The Process

My early work comprised of mostly silk-painting with the French Serti Method using dyes and resist. I prefer using water-based resists and alcohol-based silk dyes and essentially paint on the silk like water coloring on paper. The resist lines create a stained glass effect, and the alcohol dyes react with salt, sugar, alcohol, water, etc. Once the silk is painted (dyed), then the silk is steamed for several hours to set the dye. After steaming, I wash the silk to remove the resist and excess dye. Then the silk is transformed into art pieces, either made into scarves or wearables, fine crafted items, or stitched into art quilts.

Collage and Applique
Through the years I have incorporated collage and appliqué using a combination of silks and fabrics that I have dyed and commercial fabrics I have collected. The end result is a deeply textured and complex surface with a diversity of fabrics and dye techniques. The stitching and quilting adds to the texture and creates a 3-dimensionsal sculptural effect in the art. The angles that quilting creates catch the light in different ways, allowing the luminescent qualities of the silk to shine more vividly. The various colors and sheen of decorative threads add to the design and create painterly effects. Fabric provides a velvety depth that I cannot create through painting.