Carina Karlsson

Member Artist

Day of the Dead Show opens September 30 - November 21, Meet the Artist Reception First Thursday October 1, 6 - 8 PM


Bristol, VA artist, Carina Karlsson will present an exhibition titled, “Day of the Dead” in the Juried Spotlight Gallery of the Arts Depot in Abingdon, VA. The Exhibit will run from October 1st through November 21st, 2015. There will be a Meet-the-Artist reception on Thursday evening, October 1th from 6-8 pm Come meet Carina Karlsson at the Intersection where Mexico’s traditional Day of the Dead celebration converges with street graffiti and art journaling. Expect skeletons and color with a south of the border twist. Visiting Oaxaca, Mexico in 2009 during Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead - made a lasting impression on Carina Karlsson’s visual vernacular. “Quite a different beast altogether than the American celebration of Halloween” she says….”Day of the Dead fuses Christianity with pre-European traditions…The ornate celebration venerates the return of deceased loved ones on November 1st and 2nd of each year.” The rich visual cornucopia of images gleaned from that visit fuel much of the work in Karlsson’s upcoming show at the Arts Depot. Karlsson uses the image of the skeleton extensively, “both as a symbol of the everyman and to acknowledge the transience of our own existence.” Carina Karlsson is a first generation immigrant, emigrating from Sweden with her family at age 5. Her family initially settled in Chicago, but soon moved to Wisconsin. Carina grew up in Mequon, a north shore suburb of Milwaukee. Prior to attending college, she returned to Sweden for a year, working odd jobs in Gothenburg as she traveled around and “sowed her wild oats”. Carina returned to Wisconsin as a young adult to pursue a degree in occupational therapy from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She spent a brief time in Los Angeles to complete an internship in occupational therapy as well as working as a cocktail waitress at the Palamino in North Hollywood for extra cash. Later, Karlsson returned to Wisconsin where she met her future husband. She recalls, “For a few years, I helped him run a dairy farm in Randolph, a tiny town in south central Wisconsin, until the dairy crisis of the late 1980 which prompted us to sell our farm in 1989.” This brought them to the south with their 2-year-old daughter. The three settled in Martin, Tennessee, later moving to Memphis, and then, seeking a cooler climate, settled in Bristol, Virginia which has been their home since 1996. Exhibits are free to the public. For further information about the exhibits, classes, or other offerings and activities of the Arts Depot, Abingdon, VA, call (276) 628-9091 or e-mail, or visit their facebook place page. The Association is supported in part by grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.