Woman stands smiling next to artwork in art gallery

Karen installing her exhibition

California, I'm Coming Home

Featuring artwork by Karen McPhail-Bell

3 March-20 April, 2023

The Café Art Gallery

400 County Center, Redwood City


As an Australian resident of the Bay Area, Karen has come to experience California as the home of her heart; a place that so openly welcomed and included her since arriving 5 years ago. This exhibition comprises Karen’s love notes to California, particularly the Bay Area. Her paintings and poetry in this show highlight the joy, inequality, beauty and heartbreak of a life lived far away from home, only to find a deeper kind of connection to place here as a result. 

The art reflects Karen’s captivation by California’s breathtaking landscapes, vibrant and diverse culture, creative spirit and open-mindedness. Layers of history shine through, not only in the architecture and geography, but in the social dynamics and institutions. A land of contradictions and wild dreams, particularly in the Bay Area where failure is no foe and inequality is entangled with orchestrated innovation. 

In this show Karen seeks to inspire reflection and deep listening to our surrounding social and physical environments. Grounded in a love for each being in the area, the show is a call to connect with each other and our souls. Pieces in the show reflect back the stories we tell ourselves about this place, and invite us to question our role in those stories. The show is also a celebration of the joy found in our everyday lives here, for it is in the daily mundane that the magic of California is made possible.

See more of Karen’s art, poetry and research at DrKMcB.com, and follow her on Instagram @DrKMcB_Art and Facebook @DrKMcB.

blue paintings hung on wall to resemble window panes