the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Karen Yank


2022 Recipient, Visual Artist

Karen Yank (Golden) a celebrated sculptor and public artist whose rigorous geometric style has been influenced by Alexander Calder and her mentor Agnes Martin.

Karen Yank has established herself as one of the most collectible sculptors in the U.S. She has been commissioned to complete some of the largest public sculptural works in the Southwest, and her sculpture has been exhibited in numerous museums. Yank received her MFA degree from Rutgers University and her BFA from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Yank’s mentor was the contemporary artist Agnes Martin, who is well known for her minimalist grid paintings and drawings composed of horizontal and vertical lines; Yank adopted the circle in her own work, as her more organic signature shape. Her sculptures are included in numerous museum and public collections, including the New Mexico Museum of Art, New Mexico State Capitol Art Collection, NMSU Art Museum, Albuquerque Museum, and the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in NYC.