Kara Maria


Kara Maria

After beginning college at a music conservatory on the East Coast, transferring through a few different schools, and spending a year studying and traveling in Europe, Kara Maria moved to San Francisco in 1990 to attend the University of California, Berkeley. There she earned a BA in Art Practice in 1993, followed by an MFA in 1998. Maria is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA; and has taught at other Bay Area universities and colleges as well.  

Maria’s work can be found in public collections including the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA; Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; the di Rosa Preserve, Napa, CA; the de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA among others. She has been the recipient of awards such as a Masterminds Grant from the SF Weekly, San Francisco, CA; a grant from Artadia, New York, NY; and an Eisner Prize from the University of California, Berkeley. Presses including Gallery 16, San Francisco; Shark’s Ink, Lyons, CO; and Smith Andersen Editions, Palo Alto, CA have published her prints. Maria is represented by Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, CA. For more information please visit .


My work is a visual dialogue between abstraction and representation in paintings, drawings, and prints. A wide variety of subjects - from the personal to the political - influence my art making.  

I make many works where abstraction and figuration are commingled. However, recently I have been compelled to also work on two separate series of paintings simultaneously – one completely abstract and the other completely representational – to explore the potential of both directions more fully.

Although many issues are referenced, the work itself remains non-linear, seeking to raise questions rather than to give answers.  


b. 1968
Lives and works in San Francisco, CA

  • 1998UC Berkeley, Art Practice, MFA
  • 1993UC Berkeley, Art Practice, BA
  • 2001Individual Artist Grant, Artadia
  • 2003Djerassi Resident Artists Program
  • 2000Headlands Center for the Arts, Affiliate Artist Residency Program, San Francisco, CA
I prefer to be contacted by e-mail. Please visit my website (www.karamaria.com) to sign up for my mailing list.