Current Artist: Karen Goetzinger and Skip Goetzinger

Current Artist:
Karen Goetzinger & Skip Goetzinger
1 October – 6 December 2016


Karen Goetzinger


My childhood experience with fabric and fibre is not much different than many of us—a grandmother who quilted, a mom who sewed our clothes and knitted sweaters and mittens. Every individual is surrounded throughout life by textiles, beginning from the very moment the nurse or midwife swaddled us in a blanket at birth.

But what was the catalyst that caused me to choose fibre as an art medium? The passion for textiles began long before I enrolled in university to study Fashion Design and Fine Art. There, though, I found that in a culture that was becoming increasingly enthralled with high speed technology and quantity over quality production goals, I could immerse myself in slow techniques that compelled me to savour the process of creating; from the exhilaration of selecting colours to the rhythmic lullaby of stitching by hand.

I continue to find artistic inspiration and expression in a medium that most might find rooted in domestic tradition. Layers of new meaning are often revealed in my work with each unhurried step and deliberate stitch. The dichotomy is that even though my work is slowly brought to completion it is often urban themed. I love the city—its vibrancy, accentuated by its multiple layers of fast paced activity, colours, and marked time. Yet I conscript unhurried processes of applying acrylic paint, thread, and multiple bits of fabric to canvas. Just as a city is a synthesis of disparate parts, my practice of layering and piecing cloth on cloth, paint on paint and thread over thread results in reflective interpretations of urban transitions that build, layer upon layer, over time or with brevity throughout the course of a single day.

My current series, Vanishing Point, captures the perspective of treasured but waning memories. Over time, palpable details of life events and places lived grow dim and fade. Persistently grappling in the mist of memory, our hearts longs to reminisce and keep possession of even the smallest thread of sentiment. Using painted and stretched canvas as a giant embroidery hoop, I stitch by hand, the imprint of places on individual memory. Each piece permits the viewers to become the city’s human element, in solitary interaction with the landscape and their personal narratives and fleeting memories.

Threads of Thought

Seven moves within a seven year period of time can have a profound effect on anyone but for Artist Karen Goetzinger, who experienced those relocations to Wisconsin, Minnesota, upstate New York, and her current home in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the result has been the flood of inspiration behind her most recent series of work entitled, “Vanishing Point.”

Known for her finely detailed mixed media textile constructions that are influenced by her roots in quilt making, couture construction, and her life-long passion for the urban landscape and architecture, Goetzinger is currently capturing fading memories on canvas in thread and paint.

Mike Taylor, program director of the Trinity Art Gallery located in the Shenkman Arts Centre in Ottawa, was quoted as saying, “It’s the multidimensional approach that makes Karen’s work pop. She is meticulous in her composition; she has a terrific understanding of tone.”

Her work also includes an on-going site specific textile installation piece “A State of Transparency”, which was first shown at the world’s largest art prize competition, ArtPrize, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her works are exhibited by museums, public and commercial galleries throughout North America, hang in private and corporate collections internationally and are featured in publications such as “500 Art Quilts” (Lark Books a division of Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.) and “Excellence in Fiber,” a juried print exhibition published and distributed by Fiber Art Now Magazine.

Ms. Goetzinger holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fashion Design with an emphasis in Fine Arts. Since 2004 she has taught at the Ottawa School of Art, by invitation in Australia and New Zealand, and is a tutor to private fibre art students.

She is a grateful recipient of a 2012 and 2016 ARTicipate Endowment Fund project grant, a 2016 Ontario Arts Council exhibition grant, and was unanimously elected to the AOE Arts Council Board of Directors in 2013. She also serves on the Ottawa 2017 Arts, Culture, and Heritage Investment Program Steering Committee.

Skip Goetzinger


Skip GoetzInger attended the University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) Fine Arts Department for almost four years until a health issue affected his wife Karen.  He worked a number of interesting jobs including in Loss Prevention for major department stores and as the head of advertising for a large wholesale hardware company.  He left the job as Advertising Director to start to his own graphic design company that serviced small to medium sized corporations when desktop publishing was an oddity and in its infancy.

During his years in the corporate world, he became involved with his church in a number of volunteer positions which lead him to the decision to return to school to study to become a pastor.  He currently serves as a Lutheran pastor at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Sandy Hill neighbourhood of Ottawa and recently celebrated 15 years at St. Paul.

Although his spare time is quite limited, Skip carves out time to hunt down quirky bits of this and that to conceive and craft his finely detailed assemblage boxes.

Artist’s Statement

With my first viewing of American artist Joseph Cornell’s (1903-1972) assemblage boxes, I was in love.  Little self-contained, packaged environments meant to be enjoyed for the design, mystery intended to be solved.  There are just some things that need to be preserved behind glass and archived for a time.

I was in need of a creative outlet, with a beautiful workshop in the basement, a boatload of eclectic “stuff”, when the timing of making my version of Joseph Cornell boxes all came together.  Joseph’s boxes are classified as surrealistic.  Mine, perhaps, have only little moments of such.  Joesph’s boxes had no moving parts, or outside access to the inner world behind the glass.  My boxes use motors, and lights, animating the interior.  Levers and knobs allow the viewer to access the inner space.


The Corridor Gallery is a small, public gallery that has been in operation at the Library since 1997 with the enthusiastic support of the CEO/Chief Librarian, staff and patrons. Colourful and engaging displays are changed on a monthly basis featuring the work of emerging and established artists from the Ottawa Valley and beyond. Curators of the Gallery are Barbara Cotterill and Ann Jezewski.

We welcome expressions of interest from artists who are invited to contact the curators by email. Click here for details of how to apply.

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