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Kara Skylling

Pittsburgh Glass Center


My work is influenced by pattern found in urban landscapes and architecture. Through the creation of abstract paintings, inspired by the arrangement of industrial material and the construction of architecture, my work explores the patterns and repetition of our built landscape. Influenced by the human interaction with variations of place, movement, and time; I create deconstructed compositions and images using line, form, and color with a focus on process, repetition and material. In these works, varied washes of color create movement within the confines of graphite lines. Color and movement reference our natural world; while the structural forms are directly connected to a built environment, creating harmony through contrary forces, order without boredom. Major elements that I draw upon are line and surface. Line, a singular unit that once repeated creates the basis for design and composition; as order and control within the framework of a drawn mark. Developing into pattern, I use line as a tool to construct forms through balanced repetition. Segmentation made by line expresses the passing of time, our perception of the world around us and its subsequent fragmentation; memory interrupting reality, obstructions to our view-- we create the remaining imagery through our interpretation of assumed visual information and develop a connection to what we can validate visually. Surface is created through the use of material. The surface, while controlled, allows for variation, creates movement, adds texture, and builds depth. It’s the location of the act of making. The surface of a sheet of paper becomes a site for construction and builds a relationship with the façade of a building: a flattening of three-dimensional space.


Kara Skylling is an Artist and Educator currently living in Pittsburgh, PA. She received her Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Fiber Art from Tyler School of Art Temple University in 2007. Skylling is employed at Carnegie Museum of Art as a Museum Educator and works with School Programs as well as The Art Connection, summer and holiday camps, and various after school programs. She is also a Teaching Artist at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, where she teaches adult classes in Fiber Arts. Since 2011, she has been the Director of The Brew House Association's Distillery Residency Program, a studio residency program that builds an educational bridge between obtaining a fine arts education and establishing a career as an independent artist. She is also part of a team of organizers who coordinate Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh’s first and largest independent craft fair.