ArtFocus International - words & images by Karen Safer

PHOTO ARTIST - Karen Safer 

5th Generation Native Angelino - Left-Handed Aquarian 

Playa del Rey, California

310 827 5016 


TRAVEL EXPERIENCE: over 40 plus years traveling, researching and photographing urban and rural architecture, cityscapes, historic sites, nature and coastal regions worldwide including some 232 countries/territories from Africa, Antarticia, Arctic, Asia, Australia, Europe, The Americas; Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans; Caribbean and Middle East. 

 Ilhabela, Brazil


 Saudi Arabia

 Playa del Rey, California


Member: Los Angeles Art Association; Los Angeles Center of Photography; Contributor: National Geographic - Your Shot 

Work-in-Progress: "World Images Vol 1: Sepia" (book of world photographic images), “Poetry on Images,” “The Monet of Playa del Rey,” “African Suite,” “All Images That Delight Me” (places, people, things) orAll the Days of My Life(slide show),Old LA Reworked,” “Big Sky, Clouds & Sea,” Words on Images   
Photo Book: 2022 Los Angeles Art Association Vol. 4 Catalog,
Karen Safer, photography, pages 170-171; Out of the Frame photobook, Glasgow Gallery of Photography, Scotland, Aug 2022
Awards: Light Space & Time Art Gallery, 12th Annual Seascape Juried Exhibit, Montana, Aug 2022,”
Bora Bora Slice of Heaven” 3rd Pl in Photography; “Saipan Paridse” Special Merit, “From Sea to Land to Sky,” Special Recognition, 8th Pl overall; New Jersey International Photography Forum Exhibit, Nov-Jan 2022-23,Lalibella Blesssings,” AWARD OF MERRIT; Abstract 6 International Juried Art Competition, July-Aug 2022, 4 images Honorable Mention; “Ghana Shore,” Spirit of Adventure UK/Africa 2011, LA Photography Center 19922022

Current Exhibitions: “Lima Big Wave,” Maryland Federation of Art Gallery, Annapolis, Maryland, Juried Elemental: Earth, Fire, Water, Air Exhibition, online Curve Gallery, Juried, August 15-September 30, 2022;Empty Summer Beaches,” The Glasgow Gallery of Photography, Glasgow, Scotland, Campus Gallery, Theme: Pandemic Exhibition, September 3-24, 2022;Still Need Donuts,” The Glasgow Gallery of Photography, Glasgow, Scotland, Campus Gallery, Theme: Nowhere Far Exhibit, September 1-30, 2022; “Pink Donut Hooodie, 2021,” Sasse Museum of Art, Pomona, California, Juried digitial SeeMe Exhibit (self-portraits), digital catalog, Aug-Sept 2022; “Sheer Light,” Black Box Gallery, Portland, Oregon, Focus: Shadow and Light Exhibit, On-line Annex and catalog, Sept 1-20, 2022;Resting Burmese Bovine,” Art Show International Gallery, NY, Animal-5 Exhibition, online, International Juried Art Competition, Finalist Award, Aug-Sept 2022; Door of No Return,” “Emptiness Surrounds GenX,” “Falling into the Void,” “Swirl into the Blue Vortex,” “What is Beyond the Hole?” The Holy Art Gallery, 6 images selected for in gallery exhibit, loop and virtual, 21-31 Shacklewell Lane, London, UK, VOID Theme, Aug 15-21, 2022; “Norway Fjords,” Motif Collective Photography Gallery, Fernandina Beach, Florida, Aug 14, 2022 (Award: Theme Shortlist); "Rio Tram Wall,” The Glasgow Gallery of Photography,” Glasgow, Scotland, new campus, Urban Exhibition, Aug 2022; “Marigold Wall Gorée,The Glasgow Gallery of Photography,” Glasgow, Scotland, new campus, International Photography Day Exhibition, Aug 2022; “Coming Home,” “Gehry DZ in Berlin,” “Big Bang Sky,” “Saipan Paadise,” “Street Art in Venice Jim & Marilyn,” “Summer Ending St. Lucia,” Art Show International Gallery, LA, 5th Open International Juried Art Competition,” Aug-Sept 2022, Honorable Mention Award; “Excess: Spice of Life,” “Realities Vary: 2 Different LA’s 2022,” The Holy Art, The New Artist 3rd Ed., Boomer Gallery at Tower Bridge, London, Aug 2022; “Bora Bora Slice of Heaven,” “Saipan Paradise,” “From Sea to Sky,” Light Space & Time Art Galery, 12th annual Seascape Exhibit, Missoula, MT, Aug., 2022, 3rd & 8th Pl Awards; “Lalibella Blessings 2 *AWARD of MERRIT, “Snail Medici Staircase,” “Portofino Aprons,” “Saipan Street Art,” International Photography Exhibit by New Jersey Photography Forum, Nov 1– Jan 15, 2022-23; “Merv” & “Mozambique Island,” Out of FocusExhibit, Glasgow Gallery of Photography at RogArt Campus (and included in book), Glasgow, Scotland, Aug 4-30, 2022; “Lingering Balinese Seas,” Seascape Exhibit, Glasgow Gallery of Photography, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, July 2022; “Sheer Light” and “Marigold Wall in Gorée,” OPEN THEME Exhibit, Praxis Photo Art Center, St. Paul, Minnesota, August – September, 2022; “Kalamata Skies,” Sunset and Sunrise Exhibit, Motif Collective Photography Gallery, Fernandina Beach, Florida, July 2022; “Kissing Beams,” “Spiral Snail,” “Double XX Gen,” “All the Blues of Greenland,” & “Swirling Blues,” Honorable Mention – 5 images, 6th ABSTRACTInternational Juried Art Competition, Art Show International Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, July-August 2022; ONE EYELAND – Famous Photographers 2022: “Al Store Saipan,” “Blessings in Lalibella,Ethiopia,” “Magellanic Penguin Migration,” “Paris Café, Homage to Atget,” July 2022

Selected Exhibitions: “Sassy Sicilian Frivolity, Celafu,” Festoon Exhibit, Aug 27 – Sept 16; “Namibia Desert: Palm or Pineapple?Root And Branch Exhibit, Aug 2022; “Excess: Spice of Life,” Lingering Feast Exhibit, July 2022; “African Suite: Dreaming Lamu/Kairouan,” Mannerist Exhibit, LAAA 825 Gallery, LA, June 2022;  “Behind the Crimson Curtain,” Small Time Exhibit, LAAA 825 Gallery, LA, May 2022;“Embellished Me: Jodhpur Dancer,” Adorn Exhibit, LAAA 825 Gallery, LA, April 2022; "LA Realities Vary: Two Different Realities," Gleaming Apollo Exhibit, LAAA 825 Gallery, LA, March 2022; “Flower Series: White Rose,” Factory Fresh Exhibit, LAAA 825 Gallery, LA, March 2022; "Where Did They Go? Through Le Siq (Petra)," Fact-Finding Exhibit, 825 Gallery, Los Angeles Art Association, Jan-February 2022; "Sheer Light," Penumbra (BW) Exhibit, 825 Gallery online, LAAA, LA, Jan 2022; “Serenissima Jazz,” Aurora Exhibit, 825 Gallery LAAA, LA, Dec 2021; “African Suite: Togo Voodoo,” Full-Bodied Exhibit, 825 Gallery LAAA, LA, Nov. 2021; Assemblage Piece (w/Chris Madans), Funnel Mill Café, Santa Monica, 2009-present; "Rich Market, Laos," Montreal Botanical Gardens, Permanent Collectio, 2008-present; Burmese Images, "La California B&B, Quebec, Canada, 2007-present; "Unselfish Acts," Upstairs Gallery, LA Cultural Affairs Dept., LA, Dec. 2007; "World Focus," PhotoPlus International Expo, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, N.Y., Oct. 2007; "World Images," CatchLight Productions 2004-2006; "Greece & E. Europe," "Reflections of Playa del Rey," Playa Salon, ongiong -2004; "Art Meets Architecture," Flight of Courage Foundation, Venice Loft, CA, June 2002; "Coastlines & Architecture" and "Water & Archtiecture," 316 1/2 Culver, PDR April 2001-ongoing; "Salerno Beach," Permanent Collection, Cantalini's, PDR, CA ; "New Italian Images," Milan's, 2000; "Painted World Views," MAD Gallery, PDR, 2000; "Karina's Italian Views," Milan's, PDR 2000; UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, Permanent Collection, 1998-present; Café Milan, "Italian Images by Karina, PDR, 2000; Women in Photography Celebrates Freedom, LA Photography Center, 1992; "Group Watercolor Show," Ricci Stevenson Studio, Venice, CA; "Passages & Interchange," 2-woman exhibition, Art Matrix, Long Beach, CA; "Fine Arts & Crafts, Shakti Gallery, Long Beach; "Added-On Ornament," University Art Museum, CSULB; "Art & Crafts, LB Municipal Gallery; "Double Visions" Long Beach," Metro Space Gallery, LB; "The Art of Racing," LB. 

- Awards: Spirit of Adventure, UK/Africa 2011, LA Photographic Center 1992

 Monument Valley, Moab, The Arches, Grand Canyon



 Morocco, Tunisia, Sevilla, Turkmenistan

PUBLICATIONS (Writer/Editor/Poet) 

Beyond the Ledge - Poetry by Karina, Lulu Priess, 2010; At The Ledge - Poetry by Karina, Lulu Press, 2009

The Function of Decoration in the American Movie Palace, Master's Thesis, CSULB, 1981-2 (cited in numerous books and articles 1980s - present)

WORKS-In-PROGRESS: "Karina-isms" My Life in Letters, The American Girl, The Trouble with Letters, My Mom's Town, Harem Girls, Too Far From Madagascar, California Girls, Assyrian Trails, LA Westside Stories, Who Killed Little Ms. Sunshine? And Her Daddy Called Her Gogig, King's Beach Tales, Postcards to Myself, Congemplating My Novel, The Life of Grace Moore, Four Friends, etc. 

Selected architectural/art articles in professional/trade magazines and newspapers (e.g. Los Angeles Times, Design West) from 1980s to present. Selected writing & articles include: Smithsonian Art Institute - LA Artist Catalogue CSULB, 1991; Freelance articles and catalogues include: "Domestic Architecture in Long Beach," Long Beach Review; "The Functions of Decoration in the American Movie Palace," Society of Architectural Historians Review (w/photos); "Decoration: A Re-examination of the Traditional and Historic Role of Decoration Relative to Twentieth Century Architecture," Society of Architectural Historians Review; Long Beach Artists, Art Catalogue (editing); Long Beach Symphony Guild Design Homes, brochure; "The Functions of Decoration in the American Movie Palace," Marquee, (Journal of Theatre Historical Society); Wayne Thiebaud Retrospective Art Catalogue; published Master’s Thesis: “The Function of Decoration in the American Movie Palace,” 1981.
Selected Published Poems:
"High in My Tower," The American Muse; "Death," Lyrical Treasures - Classical and Modern; "Twisted," "Haunting Melodies," Up Against the Wall Mother; "For Love of Country," Deros; National Library of Poetry: "Dangling Heart," "Wasted," "La Bella Luna" (Editor's Award); 1998: "A Man from South America" The Best Poems of..; 2000: "Wrapped in a Song," America at Millennium, 2000 "They Say...Free Bird," Promises of Love; "Down the Nile," The Sound of Poetry & Poetry's Elite: The Best Poets of 2000; "LA in Paris," The Sound of Poetry 2002 – Editor's Poetry Choice Awards 1997 & 2000 & 2001

POETRY published in various journals and annotations - Editor's Poetry Choice Awards 1997-2010


Master of Arts, Art/Architectural History, California State University, Long Beach, scholastic honors - Phi Delta Kappa; summa cum laude 1981

Bachedlor of Arts, Art History, University of California, Los Angeles, cum laude 1974

Associated Arts Degree, Fine Arts (Music Minor), Santa Monica College 1972

California Community College Lifetime Teaching Credential; California State Teaching Credential, UCLA & CBEST Certification 2003

 At three, camera in hand! 


Listed in Biography International, The World of Who's Who in Women, and Who's Who in the West, Society of Architectural Historians, S. Calif. Chapter; Friends of Photography, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, UCLA & CSULB Alumni Associations, Friends of Ballona Creek; Los Angeles Opera, Women in Photography, Women in the Arts; & International Society of Poets. Member: LA Art Association.

Travelers’ Century Club (Gold – 232+ countries) and  International Travel 100 Nations Award

I am a left-handed Aquarian who is a curious, "knowing," creative, Assyrian, Armenian and Italian with an old romantic soul and intellectual cravings. 

I am a creative romantic soul; I am an artist with my camera and words; I am a music lover who plays piano; I am a writer of poems and stories. 


Born in LA, under an Aquarius sun, Sagittarius moon and Scorpio rising, I was given a camera and crayons at 3 and exposed to the quintessential motifs associated with California: light, palm trees, the ocean, music and vernacular architecture that helped define and influence my left-handed aesthetic. I started a life of international, exotic travel as a pre-teen and acquired both a practical and formal higher education in art, art history, literature, philosophy and music that further shaped and refined my sensibilities and taught me to “see.” I am particularly interested in formal qualities but am instinctively drawn to the accidental discovery of the “beautiful” and the “unusual” that jiggles the frame of my eye. Some of my most interesting images have never been recorded but remain forever in my mind’s eye. I am an artist, a photographer, a poet, a writer, a musician, a lover - a sensitive, creative, romantic soul with an intellectual appetite.

My background combines art, history, graphic design, music and film within the context of California and the influences of the world.

I am a universal soul.


KJS  --  Condensed Statement of Purpose
I got a camera and some crayons as a kid,
Journeyed along a path in life - far from what I'd expected,
moved from youth to middle age,
did some work, had some fun, got high, got low,
and just continue doing it - never tiring of the next visual surprise.
Life is still a mystery, after all!