Karen LeBlanc, owner of Loominations weaving studio and gallery, has been weaving for approximately 40 years. She started weaving as a child on a backstrap loom and then attended the NB Craft School. After giving up weaving for 10 years for educational pursuits, Karen returned to weaving in 2002.
Karen takes Jacquard Weaving courses annually from Louise Lemieux Berube at the Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles (MCCT). These courses provide her with advanced design and weaving techniques in Photoshop and Pointcarre.
Karen received two creation grants from artsnb. Karen's work has been exhibited in several galleries and exhibits, and is in private and public collections throughout the world. She has coordinated two Fibre Art exhibitions at the UNB Art Centre.
Karen's creative designs and products evolve from her tactile love of texture, colour, fibre and patterns, which are interwoven in her products and hangings.
Karen a juried member and Past-President of the NB Crafts Council, President of the Fibre Arts Network, a board member of ArtsLink NB, and is a member of the Guild of Canadian Weavers and Complex Weavers. Karen is employed as the Executive Director of the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI).
Born in Fredericton, New Brunswick (Canada), I grew up in a small town in southern New Brunswick, Canada. My father was a WWII veteran and a forester - he fostered in me an appreciation of nature, texture, architecture, a world of peace, and a spiritual life. I learned the art of fine craft at the New Brunswick Craft School. As a mature student and single mother of two small boys, I pursued higher education and proudly completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honors Sociology) and a Masters of Education (Adult Education).
My fiber art has evolved through my love of textiles, textures, fiber, cultural activities, and various artistic pursuits and disciplines. I have a fabulous life designing fiber art and textile products with a rewarding job as the Executive Director of an Aboriginal non-profit organization.
Duality. Style. Evolution. Creativity. First, I play with texture and patterns in my home studio using cashmere, silk, alpaca, cotton, wool and other fibers. I create beautiful shawls, garments, scarves and other household items. Second, I use my images in Photoshop, and Pointcarre to design and create Jacquard woven fiber art. My work has evolved from simplistic hand-woven designs to complex art forms.
Beginning with a concept and/or image, my fiber art evolves through contemplation, travel, playing with/juxtaposing images and discussion of ideas with others. I use my fiber art to illustrate some the analogies I observe in daily life. For example, I find similarities between the human ageing process and the weathering process of buildings, boats and other items in nature. I find connections between nature and how we perceive souls and spirits by exemplifying subtle faces in my fiber art. These faces may be distinguished through thoughtful examination of a piece.
Joy and sorrow, love and laughter, health and sickness, strength and weakness have all contributed to my art. My life is full and creative. Love and fulfillment provide me with joy in work and play. I try to illustrate this through my fiber art.