Alley Cats debuts the new Artist Spotlight

Alley Cats debuts the new Artist Spotlight

Karen Gadzik uses mostly watercolor in her work, which includes a variety of subject matter from angels, animals and flowers to landscapes.


Alley Cats Marketplace at New Philadelphia has begun a new feature it calls Artist Spotlight.

“This will highlight one of our artists from Alley Cats Marketplace,” owner Debbie Aubihl Knisely said. “These larger pieces of work will be on display and for sale in our social area for six to eight weeks and then will change to a new one.”

The work of Karen Gadzik will be the first to be featured. At age 8 Gadzik announced to her parents she was going to be an art teacher while holding a picture in her hand of a grandpa and grandson fishing.

This October she will celebrate her 25th Student Art Show at Alley Cats Marketplace in New Philadelphia. Gadzik operates Lasting Impressions Art Studio, a private studio with students who range in age from 6-93.

Gadzik’s students will present their work for judging by six local art judges to win ribbons and medals. The public is encouraged to come in and see this work the week prior to judging.

Gadzik retired as a middle school art teacher after 35 years from Ridgewood and Indian Valley local schools and also operates Carrie Purses, an online retailer of hand-sewn purses. Gadzik has designed and sewn more than 500 purses and bags.

“I am a teacher by profession but an artist by trade,” Gadzik said. “I was thankful God gave me a talent I love doing every day, which is why at almost 67 years old I am still very passionate about teaching art classes in my home studio. What job gives you lasting friendships, laughter and talents all rolled together? I feel blessed to enjoy such a great job where kids keep me young at heart and make me laugh.”

Gadzik said she uses bold colors as a focal point in her work. “I tend to be on the edge of realism,” she said. “I am passionate about florals, angels, birds and landscapes. I admire the work of Monet’s Impressionistic brushstrokes with light and Picasso’s disorientation of shapes, which I have used in my purse designs.”

Gadzik studied under artists Bill Koch, Jerry Zalinsky and Mark Polomchak. She is a former board member at large of the Tuscarawas County Art Guild, a member of the worldwide Art Abandonment group founded in Australia, and she started the city trash barrel painting when the New Philadelphia downtown Beautification Project began several years ago.

Alley Cats Marketplace is located in downtown New Philadelphia. Hours are Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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