About Karen Sako

  • artist
  • mixed media
  • graphic design
  • instructor

Karen Sako is an award winning mixed media artist, graphic designer, and art instructor with a BFA in Visual Communications from The Illinois Institute of Art. She enthusiastically tackles life with an optimistic outlook and continually invests her time, trade secrets and findings with her students at Mainstreet Art Center in Lake Zurich, IL. Her goal is to ignite the next generation of pioneering creative visionaries and thinkers. Karen’s unique artwork hangs in private collections around the world. She is a member of the Midwest Collage Society.

Constantly conflicted between being a graphic designer or a painter, I realized I could fuse the two together and found each discipline complimenting the other. I challenge myself as an artist by melding traditional art principles with exploratory techniques and materials overtaking the unexplored foot paths of contemporary artwork. This process allows me to create a unique connection with each work of art expressing a glimpse into one of my adventures and the people I have met along the way. It is my intention to show you not only how it looked but how it felt to be there experiencing the moment. By using soulful marks and energetic colors I can direct my imagination into existence.


Karen Sako CV


BFA, Illinois Institute of Art, Schaumburg



Crabtree Nature Center – Art in Nature
Sunday, September 10th 2017
3 Stover Road
Barrington Hills, IL

Starline Factory Gallery – 4th Fridays
July 28th 2017
300 W Front Street #204 E
Harvard, IL

A Celebration of Wildflowers and Art – Plein Air
June – July 2017
McHenry County Conservation District
Prairieview Education Center
2112 Behan Road Crystal Lake, IL

2017 Prairie Plein Air Competition
Thursday, May 25th, 6 – 8pm
Herb Aigner Gallery inside Prairie Center of the Arts
Schaumburg, IL

Starline Factory Gallery – 4th Fridays
April 28th 2017
300 W Front Street #204 E
Harvard, IL

Curious Discoveries – Midwest Collage Society
April 2017
Downers Grove, IL

Abstracts Matter – 311 Gallery
April 2017
311 West Martin Street, Raleigh, NC

Starline Factory Gallery – 4th Fridays
February 24, 2017
300 W Front Street #204 E, Harvard, IL

Best of the Best Show – Alliance of Fine Art
March 1 – April 30 2017
Mayslake Peabody Estate, Oakbrook, IL

Seeing Red – ARC GALLERY
February 2 – February 25 2017
2156 N. Damon, Chicago, IL


Affair of The Arts
Sunday, November 20th, 10 – 5pm
The Shores of Turtle Creek
7908 Winn Road, Spring Grove, IL 60081

Art Moves Des Plaines
Metro Square – Pop Up Art Show
10/1/16 – 12/2/16
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 1, 12 – 3pm

Continuing The Tradition 4
9/24/2016 – 10/30/2016
Reception: Sunday, October 2, 1-4pm
Iannelli Studio Heritage Center
255 N. NWHWY Park Ridge, IL

Beyond Rosie the Riveter: Women & Work
9/29/16 – 10/21/16
Public Reception: Thursday, September 29, 5 – 8pm
Koehnline Muesum of Art
Oakton Community College
1600E Golf Road Des Plaines, IL

The Collective Muse
8/29/16 – 10/22/16
Aurora Pubilc Art Commission
20 E. Downer Place, Aurora, IL

Creek Gallery
August 2016
Crystal Lake, IL

2016 (Cont.)

2016 Real People Show
Old Court House Arts Center
Woodstock, IL

Wonder Art Installation
May 2016
River City Roasters Wheaton, IL

February 2016
Nixie Gallery Skokie, IL


LGAG Something About the Color Red


LGAG Something About the Color Red

LGAG Pets Past and Present

Instructor Art Show
Old Court House Arts Center
Woodstock, IL


Mainstreet Art Center Instructor Show

Evanston Art Museum


2017 Crabtree Nature Center – Art in Nature Plein Air Competition – First Place
2017 Starline Factory – 4th Fridays, July – 4Core Team Award
2017 Starline Factory – 4th Fridays, April – Best of Show, People’s Choice, Core Team Award
2017 Starline Factory – 4th Fridays, February – Honorable Mention
2016 MWCS The Collective Muse – Third Place
2015 LGAG Something About the Color Red – Best in Show
2015 LGAG Something About the Color Red – People’s Choice
2014 LGAG Our Pets Past and Present – People’s Choice
2014 LGAG Something About the Color Red – People’s Choice


Sardine Galerie
46 W. Geneva Street Williams Bay, WI 53191

Skidmore Gallery
319 S. Main Street Galena, IL


Karen believes that teaching is the best way to learn and started her teaching career more than 25 years ago while also performing as a package designer, photographer and web designer. She has been sharing her love and enthusiasm for art with students at Mainstreet Art Centre since 1997. Her natural ability to connect with her students enables them  to reach their highest potential.  It is her mission to inspire students to not only love art, but to discover their talents as they evolve and express themselves through what they create.

Mainstreet Art Center, Lake Zurich, IL



Midwest Collage Society

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