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Artist Profile

Karyn Gabaldon Arts


 Summer/Fall 2021

On the sunny southeast corner of Seventh Street and Main Avenue, across the way from the historic Strater Hotel, Karyn Gabaldon Arts has welcomed visitors for over 40 years. Gabaldon, a New Mexico native and Fort Lewis College art department alumnus, opened her first gallery in Durango in 1980. The current space, airy and well-lit, is full of Karyn’s paintings, as well as sculpture, ceramics, and jewelry by other local and nationally known artists.

karyn gabaldon

A potter for 20 years, Karyn began painting in 1991. “Clay taught me how to feel, and painting taught me how to see,” she says. She was drawn to the mountains and moved to Durango in 1973. She has seen a lot of changes and is continually renewed and encouraged by the personal interactions she has with the people who visit her gallery.

karyn gabaldon gallery

Working primarily in acrylics, Karyn’s paintings are ethereal, contemporary, and influenced by the simplicity of Japanese art. She has the ability to capture the fleeting magical moments in nature: moonrise over the La Plata Mountains, reflections on the Animas River, the majesty of Vallecito looking north. An overall feeling of spaciousness and calm settles over me as I view her work.

right around the bend

Karyn’s paintings grace the homes of many collectors internationally and any of her pieces can also be made into transfer prints on metal panels of almost any size.

slowly reemerging

Karyn loves the Durango community and has given back in many ways, including offering internships to senior Fort Lewis College art majors and opening her gallery for student visits. Through one of her other passions, teaching Zumba fitness classes, she raises money for Durango Friends of the Arts.

starts on the water

After 40 years in business, you can’t help but become part of the local story of Durango. Karyn Gabaldon continues to thrive, thanks to the support of locals and visitors who are drawn to her art and friendly demeanor—not to mention the peaceful Zen-like ambiance. 

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