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Artists Among Us: Karyn Mannix

Originally Posted: November 24, 2009

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"Paint by Number," 2009, 60" x 40," mixed media. All images courtesy of artist

Continuing with our artist profiles of artists both living and working in the Hamptons, our next artist is Karyn Mannix, who lives in East Hampton

East Hampton - Karyn Mannix was born on Long Island and raised with four older brothers between New York City and the Hamptons. She received her B.A. in Post Modern Art Theory & Criticism, and a B.A. in Fashion Construction & Design. Since 2004, and as a five year breast cancer survivor, Mannix has been the Event Coordinator of the BirdHouse Art Auction, targeting Breast Cancer. As she explains "I wanted to give something back to all the people who stood by me and helped me out."

Mannix states "Art and the written word is a direct form of what lies between thought and expression. My work revolves around body image, gender, and the social and political. I have been labeled as a post-feminist artist; however, I just see myself as honest."

Among her many achievements, Mannix worked as the Art Director for Porche Design for the design and execution of display products for the Designer's Collective Show. Fashion Illustration for Woman's Wear Daily; French Connection; Ann Crabtree; and Land 'n' Sea. She also maintained her own private label of women's wear featured at Bloomingdales, Patricia Field, and international boutiques.

In addition, Mannix has done the window design and Installation for Diane Von Furstenberg; Bergdorf Goodman; Barney's New York; and La Rue des Reves, as well as Costume Design & Construction for Cyndi Lauper; Michael Mann; Patricia Field; Mary McFadden; Southampton Players; and Guild Hall.

"Confessional," 2008, mixed media. This is an interactive piece where the audience wrote their confession on a piece of paper numbered 1-250 and placed in the box.

Among her many awards and honors, Mannix has received the New York Pre't Award Selection; Fashion Show; Transpecies Animal Rights Fashion Show with Bob Barker; an art scholarship to Southampton College; New York Juried Selection; September 11th Retrospective; Judge Panelist Reflections Art Show; Peace Works Juried Selection, New York; Volume's Verses and Visions Juried Selection, Chicago, Illinois; War Stories Juried Selection, Los Angeles, CA; HerStory Award of Excellence Manhattan Arts International; Testifyin' Juried Selection - a national competition in conjunction with the "Vagina Monologues;" New York Foundation for the Arts Special Opportunity Stipend Grant; Max's Kansas City Artist Grant; an Artist's Fellowship Grant; and Vital Voices: Women's Visions Juried Selection.

When did you start making art and what medium(s) do you consider to be your roots in art?

Karyn Mannix: I started making clothes for my Barbie doll when I was about seven years old. Everything was so generic, I couldn't handle it. So I decided to make my own. I continued in fashion for a large portion of my career. I have designed for pop star Cyndi Lauper, producer Michael Mann, and stylist Patricia Field. At this point I was also doing window displays as well at Bergdorf Goodman, Diane Von Furstenberg and other high-end clothing stores. I would later branch out into doing costuming and sets for theater on and off Broadway and for local playhouses and groups. Doing this kind work inspired me in the whole 3D workspace. I am not a painter. I work in all mediums from photography, mixed media, to three-dimensional pieces. My work is all conceptually based and has a very narcissistic approach, unlike me.

"Carolee Does the Hamptons" (Train), Body Cast/Polaroid Transfer, 6" x 4."

What is it about the Hamptons that brought you here and enticed you to stay, work, and pursue your art here as opposed to some place else?

KM: It's funny, we all bitch about the Hamptons as being overcrowded and overpriced but I truly enjoy living here. I actually graduated from East Hampton High School. I left and went back to the city for years and eventually planted my feet out here. It's just a beautiful place to live that has plenty of art culture and is a stone's throw away from one of the greatest cities in the world.

How do you support yourself as an artist?

KM: All my work surrounds the arts. I write a weekly column for the East Hampton Press, I teach art and art history to all ages, and I curate art shows. February will be the fifth year of the 'Love & Passion' Show that I started when I ran a gallery out of a converted jewelry store on Main Street in East Hampton.

Why live and work in the Hamptons as opposed to elsewhere?

KM: I wish I knew that answer. If I did I'd probably move.

"KK," 10" x 8," mixed media. (Three dimensional piece).

What local environmental or historical aspects of the Hamptons do you relate to that may be reflected in your medium?

KM: Absolutely none. I am not influenced by the nature around me.

What artists do you feel have influenced you and your work?

KM: I have a degree in Post Modern Art Theory and Criticism, so basically I have a giant stable of influences.

What advice would you give an emerging artist?

KM: Become a lawyer.

What gives you an edge (if any)?

KM: My mind. The way in which my mind works. I take an unconventional approach, and my art shows other people's inner dialogue.

What are you working on now, and are you involved in any upcoming shows or exhibitions?

KM: I have two shows coming up in the spring in Chelsea. One is at New Century Artists Gallery on 530 West 25th Street. This is a "East Meets West" group show, and will run from Tuesday, April 20 through Saturday, May 1. The gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

 • Mannix is currently represented by the Hampton Road Gallery www.hamptonroadgalllery.com. To view more of Karyn Mannix's work, visit the following website at www.karynmannix.net, or email at karynmannix@optonline.net

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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Guest (Lance Corey) from Westhampton says::
Curious about entering your upcoming show "Wunderlust."
Dec 19, 2019 8:37 pm

Guest (Rosa Hanna Scott ) from East Hampton says::
Karyn's work shows the creativity that she has and also her ability.
Jan 13, 2010 7:08 pm

Guest (Lee Jones) from Watermill NY says::
One hell of a talent and one hell of a woman
Jan 9, 2010 7:43 am

Guest (Lou Morrissey) from New York says::
Excellent! talented,. creative, a true artist and all woman
Jan 8, 2010 8:46 am

Guest (Paul Cleary) from New York City says::
One of the brightest, sexiest,honest, and truest of all women that I know. Her talent doesnt stop with her art. She helps others, is there in a time of need, and is willing to go out on the limb. A go getter...and a load of fun.
Jan 7, 2010 7:41 am

Guest (Michael Knigin) from East Hampton says::
Karen is a terrific, creative and inovative artist as she is a woman.
Jan 6, 2010 6:14 pm

Guest (Janet Finkel) from NYC and Bridgehampton says::
Karyn is one of the most multi-talented and intelligent artists that I know. She is also great with people and promoting the work of quality artists on the East End. She needs to get her work shown in Manhattan more, because she needs the exposure to people who don't go to the Hamptons! On top of it all, she is a wonderful person deep down inside. A girl's girl, a woman's woman. A human being with tremendous talent and insight!
Jan 5, 2010 3:03 pm


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