Karen Bell was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She grew up playing
skully, punchball, stoopball (no-bounce), hopscotch, jacks, and the all time
favorite, Hit the Penny! Receiving her first camera, a Kodak Hawkeye, did not
signal the start of her long career as a photographer. Her earliest
attempts--taking pictures at Sheepshead Bay--would typically result in shots
of a tiny seagull in a lot of sky. Amateurs, take heed: we’ve all been there.
She has lived in Manhattan since the mid-1970s, leaving to get a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design. She currently works as a freelance photographer and teacher of photography at The New School. She has taught or lectured at Rhode Island School of Design, Fashion Institute of Technology, International Center of Photography, Seton Hall University, among other places. Her photographs and videos have been widely exhibited in New York City as well as a variety of locations in the U.S.A., and in Australia. Her work is part of the permanent collections of The Brooklyn Museum and The Ellis Island Museum of Immigration, to name but two.
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