Born in Illinois ‘89, Lives in Fort Wayne, IN
I’m a Beach Bum Hoosier at heart <3
Kari J. Larsen
local Fine artist and designer of Ostari Couture in Fort Wayne, IN
Kari graduated from IPFW in 2014 with concentrations in Oil Painting, Printmaking and Wearable Art.
She works and resides in Fort Wayne participating in annual art fairs, solo/ group shows and charity/ fundraising shows. She is an active artist in the community and strives to create and inspire artistic expression every day.
My work consists of using natural elements such as oil and intaglio prints and pairing them alongside wearable art. I use various materials including Canvas, specialty fabrics, inks, acrylics and oil paints.
I am deeply inspired by nature and fashion. My hope is to enlighten people about our wonderful world and all the beautiful creatures in it while also expressing style and couture elements through original designs and illustrations.
Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of becoming an artist and designer. I dressed up in costumes my mom had made. This fascination only made me more determined to learn as much I could about the design world. I learned to sew at a young age. My Aunt use to have my sisters and I over the summertime and we would sew ready to wear patterns. I continued to explore art through drapery and design using my sisters and self as models. My High school was a great learning base for understanding sewing further and its where my love of art and fashion originated. I love the gritty dirtiness and expressiveness mediums give the artist with charcoal, paint, ink and printmaking this is where our visions come to life for the viewers. Sewing is the same, draping yards of fabrics and pinning, and cutting them. Drapery is an adrenaline rush of imaginative and pure exploration.
You don’t have to attend a university to become an artist, however I did because the sheer fascination of learning about art and its history impacts me as an individual everyday. I am tremendously thankful to have been surrounded by an incredible group of professors and peers whom I still keep in close contact with. If not for them I would have not found my voice in art. Art thrives off of art. We take what we learn and use it to find our voices. Aspire to dream and don’t give up- its not an easy road nothing in life is, but its something worth taking a chance on.
Kari has shown her works regionally participating in local fashion shows with her past business partner Ron Ostlund Jr, such as the Starstruck Summer Gala and Bikini Spectacular and art shows both solo and charitable. Together they fused her wearable art with his metal couture works. They parted ways mutually to grow as individual artists a few years ago and are still good friends.
Here in Fort Wayne the artistic community has grown and strengthened throughout the years. Its a beautiful thing to meet creatives both young and old in the area and learn about who they are and the art they create. You never stop learning after college. There is always something new to discover and appreciate.
Her work has been featured in local restaurants, and has had her art exhibited in Artlink Contemporary Gallery, Rhapsody Gallery, the PHOENIX Gallery and Trubble Brewing. A few years back in 2017,PBS 39 Arts in Focus interviewed her about her wearable art.
She has participated in the Annual Three Rivers Festival two years in a row and hoping to make it a yearly tradition. She is also an active artist with HeART of the City, a local organization and database for artists to submit a brief bio of themselves and offers insights into artistic events. She has participated and donated art to the ACSPCA. Together the HeART of the City team up with artists and animals in a fun furry friendly Animal Art Party which helps benefit Fort Wayne’s ACSPCA ( Allen County Society for the Prohibition of Cruelty to Animals).
“I strive to be creative and promote and raise awareness of the arts to everyone I meet. Art is all around you, you just have to be willing to see it for yourself.”
Education and Experience
2008-2014, Bachelors of Fine Arts from IPFW
2017-present, Work as an associate in the FWMOA Paradigm gallery.
Summer of 2018, taught Art Boot Camp- a personalized fun interactive and learning camp centered around the arts. These are a few areas I focused on: Painting, Drawing, Music, and Printmaking.
Group female artist Pop Up show at Trubble Brewing, 2725 Broadway Street Fort Wayne IN, 46807
Collaborated & created a custom wearable art gown for Artist Sayaka Ganz for her Opening Artist Reception Mother Sea~Haha naru umi on Friday February 22, 2019 at Artlink Contemporary Gallery in Fort Wayne IN.
Featured artist in newest local art gallery Rhapsody Gallery from Jan 1st -March 30th
Exhibited few select works at the Phoenix, 112 Broadway, Fort Wayne IN March 26th
Nautical Graces solo show at the Phoenix , July 12th- August 31st, 2018
Fort Wayne HeART of the City- Three Rives Festival ART in the Park, Fort Wayne IN, July 14th & 15th
Animal Art Party for Allen County ASPCA HeART of the City fundraiser, September 20th
Solo Exhibition Show at Z- Place Pizza Restaurant, April- March
Fort Wayne HeART of the City- Three Rivers Festival ART in the Park, Fort Wayne IN, July 8th & 9th
September 23, 2017, Animal Art Party for Allen County ASPCA HeART of the City fundraiser
Bikini Spectacular~Summer Swim Fashion Show. On the Landing, Fort Wayne IN, July 2015
Senior BFA Exhibition at IUPUI Visual Arts Gallery, April 10th
Starstruck Summer Gala Fashion Show, August 15th
Impressioni di italia Exhibition, August
KoryKord Photography, Whimsical fall fashion photoshoot, October
Designed custom gown for Rock Girl 98.9 The Bear, October 11th
Solo Show at Old Crown Coffee House, Fort Wayne IN, September
Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery Members Show
©2017 Kari J. Larsen All Rights Reserved