Joined Natural Learning School

History/Anthropology, B.A., Grand Valley State University
Minor: Philosophy
Graduated with honors, summa cum laude


Graduate Studies in Art History at Michigan State University

Karen Carlson

Atelierista/Art Teacher and Pedagogista




Karen Carlson has been our atelierista since 2009. She shares with our children her endless curiosity and passion for learning, and her love of making art with a broad range of media and natural materials.  In addition to her knowledge of studio techniques, Karen brings with her a background in art history and digital imaging which supports the children’s explorations and the school’s documentation process. Her professional experience in art began with ten years (1996—2006) at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where she taught Art History and also curated and digitized that University’s visual resources library. Karen’s interdisciplinary education also informs her work in the studio. With undergraduate majors in history and anthropology, and a minor in philosophy at GVSU, as well as graduate studies in art history at Michigan State University, her broadly- based liberal education supports the wide range of investigations at our Reggio Emilia inspired school. Karen values and enjoys collaboration, and as a life-long learner, a careful listener, and one with a deeply rooted sense of wonder and curiosity, Karen is a natural fit for our school.