Dart Rail Station Opening

September, 2009. It began in 2002, and it took seven years. The DART Rail Station at Baylor University Medical Center, in downtown Dallas, opened in September of 2009. Karen did the art and design for this station - and that included design of the station columns, design of 7 windscreens, 5 mosaics, a 2 1/2 acre park and a giant thumbprint in the station landing area. Artists Shelley Thornton (sculpture) and Sandy Shires (concrete painting) contributed to the column art. Please see more photos in the Major Projects section, and in the PORTFOLIO section.

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Karen founds Today Marks the Beginning and 29 Pieces.

In 2005, Karen and Barbara Miller co-founded Today Marks the Beginning ( Within Today Marks the Beginning, Karen is the Program Director for MasterPEACE: Young Artists Making a Kinder World.

In 2009, Karen founded a second non-profit organization: 29 Pieces (,,

Please check out all the websites:

29 Pieces:

Today Marks the Beginning:

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Peace One Day wins Dallas Peace Center TAFFY Award

On December 1, 2005, the Dallas Peace Center presented the TAFFY award to Peace One Day, written by Jeremy Gilley and illustrated by Karen Blessen. The TAFFY award is given annually in recognition of valuable contributions to PEACE EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN.

Also receiving awards that evening were Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in the war in Iraq, John Wolf and Hadi Jawad. Cindy Sheehan was described as a woman who, like Rosa Parks, "changed the gears of the universe" when she traveled to Crawford, Texas to request a conversation with President Bush about the war. John Wolf and Hadi Jawad are the co-owners of "Peace House," the house in Crawford that opened it's doors to the thousands of peace activists who traveled to Crawford last August to support Cindy Sheehan's protest effort.

Prior to and after the awards dinner, ArtSpirit sponsored a booksigning of Peace One Day.

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Author Jeremy Gilley visits Dallas

He came, he spoke, he charmed, he inspired. On September 13, Jeremy Gilley, peace activist, founder of World Peace Day, and Karen's collaborator on the children's book, Peace One Day, visited Dallas and shared his story with over 2000 students and adults.

Jeremy and Karen spoke to packed assemblies at three schools - Franklin Middle School, Ursuline Academy and Parish Episcopal. The students loved Jeremy and asked many, many great questions about his quest to create World Peace Day and also about what they could do to celebrate peace.

On the evening of the 13th, three Dallas organizations (Today Marks the Beginning, the Dallas Peace Center, and Umbrellas for Peace) sponsored a booksigning and showing of Jeremy's movie at the Lakewood Theater.

We hated to see Jeremy head back to London!

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New book, Peace One Day, written by Jeremy Gilley and illustrated by Karen Blessen

Peace One Day, written by Jeremy Gilley, illustrated by Karen Blessen, and published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, was released in August 2005.

Peace One Day is the story of British filmmaker and activist, Jeremy Gilley, who worked through the United Nations to have September 21 declared an annual World Peace Day.

Editor: Susan Kochan
Art Director: Cecilia Yung

To learn more about the organization Peace One Day, please go to

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Recent Exhibits:

1) Three pieces of Karen's work were included in:

The Shelter of Each Other,
presented by 1199 NY/SEIU's Bread and Roses Cultural Project
and the SEIU Greenhouse Cultural Program

Images from
The Social Justice Calendar 2005,
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

December 17, 2004 - February 4, 2005
Gallery 1199, 310 West 43rd St., New York City

To order The Shelter of Each Other, and to find out more about Bread and Roses Cultural Project, go to

"One and one and one" - Karen's contribution to the Bread and Roses "The Shelter of Each Other" calendar. The model for the art is Vicki Meek, Dallas artist and director of the South Dallas Cultural Center.

2) Karen Blessen:
Collage Artist and
Visual Journalist

January 21 - March 5, 2005
Wichita Falls Art Museum
Wichita Falls, Texas

To read the article from the Wichita Falls Times Record about the exhibit, click here

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6 ft. x 8 ft. Wall Pieces Installed in lobby of the Hyatt Regency, DFW Airport

Water/The Many Chambered Mansion

Lynda Transou, Dana Swope and Camilla Hardee of Woodbine Development Corporation commissioned Karen to create two 6 ft. by 8 ft. installations for the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, DFW Airport. The working theme was Texas Resources.

Johnny Wolf and colleagues from The Wolf Co., Dallas, (shown installing "Emergence") meticulously fabricated the pieces from scale models made by Karen. Materials include copper, steel, wood, aluminum, paint, rope, printed acrylic, printed vinyl, and prisms.


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Art for the American Red Cross Mobile Blood Museum is Karen's BIGGEST assignment yet

Measuring in at 48 ft. x 12 ft., the four portraits by Karen make up the outside of the American Red Cross Mobile Blood Museum, which is traveling around the United States and Puerto Rico. Interior exhibits inform visitors about the importance of donating blood.

Creative Director: Lisa Schultz, of Out of Bounds, based in Culver City California.

Art Director: Sal Sinare

Visit The American Red Cross website

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Karen travels to Ethiopia

In September of 2003, Karen traveled to Ethiopia with other members of the HIV/AIDS Advisory Committee of Save the Children. To see a slide show about this extraordinary country, go to the Africa section.

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The angels live!

In 1994, Karen and friend Dana Reynolds collaborated on "Be An Angel", published by Simon & Schuster. Now, ten of the angels created by Karen and Dana are available and being sold as framed Iris/Giclee prints, on the web, at


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"Faces of a Plague" chosen for PRINT Magazine's Design Annual

"Faces of a Plague" has been chosen to be included in PRINT Magazine's Design Annual. See this entire feature in Stories & Art.

Karen Blessen, Artist and Writer
Lamberto Alvarez, Illustration Director, The Dallas Morning News
Marilyn Bishkin, Design Editor, The Dallas Morning News
Mary Jennings, Designer, The Dallas Morning News


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One Bullet

On August 19, 2000, a 26 year old man was killed in front of Karen's home. Go to Stories & Art to see "ONE BULLET", which published in the Aug. 17, 2003 edition of The Dallas Morning News. Karen's story and art explores the emotional aftermath of this senseless murder.


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In the Works:

Karen Blessen Barbara Miller
not pictured: Jeffrey Cranor
Karen, Barbara Miller, and Jeffrey Cranor are currently working on a screenplay adapted from "Faces of a Plague" and "Today Marks the Beginning."

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Baylor DART station

Karen is working with DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit), Alliance Architects and Carter & Burgess on the art and design for the Baylor DART station, near downtown Dallas. Design is in progress, and construction will be completed in 2006-2007.

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Today Marks the Beginning

Today Marks the Beginning, a theatrical production by ArtSpirit, was presented in Dallas on Dec. 16 and 17, 2003. It was adapted for stage from "Faces of a Plague: An Artistís Journey into the Heart of a Deadly Epidemic".

The two sold out performances raised over $40,000 as a benefit for "Adopt A Village", which is a "Save the Children" program for AIDS education, building schools, and digging water wells in Malawi.

(See more in MAJOR PROJECTS section.)

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Adopt a Village

Pastors Jack Soper and Marti Soper of Arapaho United Methodist Church in Richardson, Texas recently invited Karen to participate in their congregationís effort to "Adopt A Village" in Malawi. With a goal of $20,000, Sunday School children presented Karen with the first donation - a check for $293.00 - that the children had collected! Thank you to everyone at Arapaho United Methodist Church for your action in response to the global AIDS crisis. [Photos by Jack Soper]

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Karen's Studio in Dallas

Architect: Robert VanBuren
Firm: Phillips Ryburn

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The "Store"

The family home and studio in Nebraska -- and destination for the annual spring migration. Why? For the spiritual renewal of 5000 tulip, daffodil, and grape hyacinth bulbs in bloom -- and to see old friends and family.

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:: Dart Rail Station Opening
:: Karen founds Today Marks the Beginning and 29 Pieces
:: Peace One Day wins TAFFY Award
:: Author Gilley visits Dallas
:: New book, Peace One Day
:: Recent exhibits
:: Wall pieces installed at DFW Hyatt Regency
:: American Red Cross Mobile Blood Museum
:: Karen travels to Ethiopia
:: The angels live
:: "Faces" in PRINT
:: One Bullet: Look What it Did
:: In the Works
:: Baylor DART Station
:: Today Marks the Beginning
:: Adopt a Village
:: Karen's Studio in Dallas
:: The "Store"

If you are interested in learning more about Adopt A Village, please contact Karen Blessen at

Contact Karen Blessen :: :: :: :: 214-827-3257 :: Email Webmaster Artist and writer. Cut paper collages, illustrations,
drawings, prints, stories, journal entries, public art, and photographs are
copyright Karen Blessen unless otherwise noted.