Recent News

Karen is honored to be one of the few Lamppost Banner Artists in 2019.

Karen has been honored with being an “Image Artist” for the 43rd Taos Fall Arts Festival. It takes place September 20 -29, 2019.
For more information: www.taosfallarts.com

Ahlgren will be participating  In the Seton Exhibit at the Academy of Love of Learning in Santa Fe, NM.  Reception August 11, 2019

Ernest Thompson Seton, the leading wildlife illustrator Of his generation (1860-1946), founder of the wildlife Conservation movement, an early environmentalist And best-selling author. 

"His True Character—A Challenge. Thus I have offered evidence of the courage, the chivalry, the strength, the playfulness, the love, loyalty, the fidelity, the friendliness, the kindliness, the heroism, the goodness of the Wolf—completing my attempt to set before you the faithful and fearless portrait of a creature so long maligned...."
‘From Lives of Game Animals’ © 1927

For more info: www.aloveoflearning.org

Karen has been honered with a room in her name at the Riverbend Hot Springs in Truth or Consequences, NM. She is thrilled to have her work on these walls AND to have a wonderful new reason to go soak and bird in Southern New Mexico. (Ask for Artist Room #6!) www.riverbendhotsprings.com


Karen was selected as the Artist in Residence in 2010 on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. She has been working on a series of paintings from this residency and will be providing the National Park Service at the North Rim a painting for their collection. For more information on this exciting opportunity, you can go to http://www.nps.gov/grca/supportyourpark/north-rim-selected-artists.htm

After many years, Karen's beautiful loom is up and running again. She is currently working on a new series of "Wookie Pillows" and small weavings that focus on texture and color.

wookie pillow

Karen has added jewelry-making into her creative life. These are called "zen earrings" due to the mystical properties of the semi-precious stones and the focused enjoyment in their creation.

Earring  earring  earring

You can purchase Karen's zen jewelry direct from her studio/gallery in Garcia, CO, or at the following galleries and gift stores: Firedworks, Alamosa, CO; La Veta Gallery on Main, La Veta, CO.

In 2006, Karen Ahlgren and her husband James Kristofka bought an old abandoned church in Garcia, Colorado, a town reputed to be the very oldest town in Colorado. Karen and James are in the process of restoring and renovating the church as Karen's studio/gallery. A double-walled adobe structure, the church was built in 1850 and served as the Methodist/Episcopalian mission to a population of over 7,000. After many years, it became a place of worship for the Assembly of God.


Since 2006, Karen has shown her work out of this old church in the annual Rio Costilla Studio Tour held every September on the second weekend. Items for sale include watercolor paintings, giclees, notecards, hand-woven items and one-of-a-kind zen earrings using precious stones. 

church interior 2 

To go to the website for the annual Rio Costilla Studio Tour, go to http://riocostillaart.com/         

Other recent news:

In 2011, Karen was chosen to participate in "Taos Select" exhibit - the new incarnation of th e"taos Invites Taos" fall arts show.

For the past five years, including 2010, Karen has been invited to put her work into "Taos Invites Taos," a highly reputable annual art show that has showcased Taos County artists for thirty-four years. As part of the fall annual Art's Festival, "Taos Invites Taos" allows invited artists selected by a committee of artists to exhibit two pieces .

In March of 2007, Karen discovered a tiny bear cub searching for food on her mountain property. After several days waiting for the cub's mother to appear, Karen and James called New Mexico Game and Fish. They determined that the cub was from the previous year, a surprise to everyone! Apparently she had woken up early from hibernation due to her poor condition. Perhaps her mother did not survive the winter. The cub, christened Elizabeth by James, was taken to the Espanola Wildlife Way Station weighing 11 pounds. She made excellent progress in her rehabilitation and the facility released her into the wild in November of 2007 weighing 140 pounds. Karen is in the process of making a series of paintings in Elizabear's honor. Here is a photo of Elizabear before, and after:  
    Elizabear                                  Elizabear buff
To contact the good folks who helped Elizabear survive, go to


Gallery of

link to Bear Gallery


link to Bird Gallery link to Bird Gallery


link to Menagerie Gallery


Canyon Spirit link to AIR series



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PO Box 7
Amalia, NM 87512

© Karen Ahlgren 2007.
This site last updated on April 20, 2019

link to Bear Gallery link to Menagerie Gallery