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Humor Arts Museum

Uplifting Humorous Art In All Media

October 2022
Karen E. Gersch

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Reception 10/29/22 - Artist & Curator Karen E. Gersch in conversation with Gene Seidman of Artra Worldwide


Curator & Featured Artist
Karen E. Gersch

The role of Curator for House of Holy Humor is a natural evolution for Karen E. Gersch. A longtime, celebrated acrobat and clown (Founding member of the Big Apple Circus, Circus Smirkus and Friendly Bros. Circus) as well as visual artist (BFA, Pratt Institute); her fine art and illustrations are exhibited and collected globally. She has curated large scale and specialty exhibitions over the past few decades for galleries, universities, cultural centers and small museums.

Photo: Simon Narborough (
To see more works by the artist, visit:

Learn more about Karen E. Gersch


I have always defined my life with words, paint and performances. As a child, running in forests, climbing trees and drawing took precedence over all other activities. When I first fell in love with circus, it was with the European model of an intimate one-ring show: clowns with minimal makeup and high volumes of expression. I’ve always felt the energy radiated in circus rings as captivating and inspirational.

After earning a BFA from Pratt Institute, I studied movement and physical skills, which enhanced my ability to sketch from life and chronicle the acts I saw. As an acrobat, I could faithfully transcribe elements of balance, flight and risk in pen marks and paint. Being sensitive to hand-eye coordinates applies to both. 

Once I began to curate large format exhibitions and direct theatrical productions - finessing collections of people or works felt like a natural evolution; a juggling of elements and keeping one’s eye on the “big picture.”

Most of my personal artwork and visions are joyous and humorous - of a positive nature. But because I believe that artists should also be voices attesting to truths, some pieces are explicitly thought-provoking. For example, I create collages that address the human condition; soulful, brooding and reflective of contemporary conflicts and socio-political issues.


What kismet - to have met the good Reverend Barbara! We guffaw at the many chords of visual and positive camaraderie we share! So cheering to have this platinum opportunity to find other like-spirited visionaries whose work we can highlight on these pages!

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