Discover Local Artist: Karen McGovern

Since artist Karen McGovern grew up in the Florida wilderness, it shaped every aspect of her life.

KM Headshot
Karen McGovern

“When I moved to a remote town in Florida at the age of ten, my whole world changed and I became enthralled with wildlife and wild art. With alligators in my back yard and wood storks in the trees, I embraced the natural world around me,” she said.

In Loxahatchee, she lives with endangered parrots, primates and African antelope on her 30-plus-acre wildlife preserve.

Her career in conservation biology was almost pre-destined. Because of her work, she travels to the Caribbean islands, African savannas and Mexican jungles.

Her art and jewelry design also directly reflect her deep respect for nature, and her passion to preserve creatures living wild in the world.

“Varacasite” (or Earth Stone) is a piece of 20-by-17-mm hand-cut varacasite set in sterling silver on sterling silver (band size 9). $85.
“Innocent” is 2.5-by- 3-inch pendant constructed from hammered brass with antique optic lens (circa 1890) and antique photograph (unknown), text transparency, antique skeleton key, sterling silver and copper gears, copper wire accents, sterling silver discs. It is cold connected using steel micro screws and is on an 18-inch copper hoop chain. $85.
Fertile Imagination Bad Idea
“Fertile Imagination – Bad Idea” was inspired by the overwhelming overpopulation of humans on the planet. It is a 2-inch-tall antique-porcelain German doll body with a cast-bronze baby and bronze fibers. It has a miniature functional abacus and miniature functional hourglass.  It also has a sterling silver wire and gold over pewter gear accents and is on an 18-inch sterling-silver chain. $125.

Her latest series, “Sacred Salvage,” includes “Story Book” and “Poetry Piece” mixed-media necklaces, lockets and shields. The designs are created around her original short stories and poems, which are included with each piece. Printed on parchment paper, her stories offer a peek into her vivid imagination and are an obvious reflection of her passion for art, nature, mythology, and folklore.

Each design is singular and incorporates intricate handmade polymer clay pendants and beads, handmade brass and copper lockets, vintage photographs, antiquities, sterling silver, and found objects.

A unique example of wearable art, many of her creations are offered with a wood-and-glass shadow box for display when not being worn.

Karen donates most of her proceeds to support wildlife conservation programs through the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation,

“Art and nature are one and the same to me. You cannot have one without the other. My goal is to create art that represents this link and raises awareness and funds for wildlife conservation.”

McGovern’s work is on exhibit at the Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery, 605 Lake Ave, Lake Worth. The gallery’s art events are every first and third Friday of the month, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m..  Her work can also be seen on her site

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