Karen Vournakis works in the 19th Century tradition of hand-tinted photography. She first explores the world using black& white film, then adds color by hand painting her original gelatin silver photographs. By laying transparent pigments directly onto the photograph, she takes hand tinting to another level of color and form. This approach to the medium emphasizes her color sensibility and creates an emotional interpretation of the scene. Color pigments used are painterly rendered onto the photograph. Recently, she has begun shooting digital images with the same intense interest in natural light, design/composition and color forms within the scene.
Ms. Vournakis was born in Chelsea, Michigan, and her art education began at Albion College in Albion Michigan where she received a BA in Fine Arts. She continued her studies at Syracuse University’s Visual & Performing Arts where she holds an MFA in Photography, magna cum laude. She taught photography at Syracuse University, Colgate University and Dartmouth College. Her many years as a participant in the arts has allowed her to create an internationally known presence and her work has been included in many collections including the Bibliotheque National (Paris), Griffin Museum (Winchester MA), Everson Museum (Syracuse NY). Erie Museum (Erie PA), Picker Art Gallery (Colgate) and in corporate collections of Kidder Peabody & Co. (NYC), Fidelity Management and Research ( Boston & London) and the Preserve @ Indigo Run (Hilton Head) from a partial listing.
Ms. Vournakis arrived in Charleston 1995 and opened the Karen Vournakis Studio/Gallery on lower King Street, which she operated for eight years. She has been an active member of the Charleston art community for twenty two years.