photo by Jennifer Kuykendall

photo by Jennifer Kuykendall

Kara Shaw is compelled to create work that invoke a sense of mystery and ethereal light, she often reflects upon the sublime and expressive beauty of water's poetic introspection. She creates medium to large-scale mixed media paintings that document water and light in all phases of matter.  

Her work has been the subject of multiple group and solo exhibitions.  The artist was the recipient to the Who's Who in Art publication, and selected by the Royal Academy of Arts for a 2015 design competition. Kara's work has been featured in various publications, and many of her paintings hang in the homes of private collectors around the world.

In Shaw's most recent body of work, she documents through through the lens, capturing the reflective ethereal light and water from Onion Creek just outside of Austin, Texas and translates those images by painting them onto the canvas. The artist passionately strives to create a visual experience of both spiritual mystery, beauty, and scientific data collection through the use of art. The aim is to speak to an engaged audience about local, national, and international water pollution issues which quietly arrive at the banks of our waterways on a daily basis.  As one of the founding Board of Directors for the non-profit organization Protect Our Water, or POW; Kara Shaw donates a portion of her sales from this body of work to help save the local water.  Shaw is an avid promoter of S.T.E.A.M. education, and is constantly on the hunt for cutting edge wastewater treatment technologies. 

Kara (Vachon) Shaw (American, b. Feb 1973 in Tulsa, Oklahoma) currently lives and works in Driftwood, Texas with her wonderful husband, and two beautiful children.


  • 2018 Solo exhibition: Ripple Effect, TEL Tokyo Electron Lobby Gallery, 2400 Grove Blvd. Austin, Texas

  • 2018 Spectrum Gestalt Group Exhibition, Santa Monica, California

  • 2018 Solo exhibition, William+Chris Vineyards

  • 2017 William+Chris Wines, Artist Blend Label Winner

            Chateau Orquevaux Artist Residency 18 Grande Rue, Orquevaux 52700, France

  • 2016 Expressions of Light. Jed Malitz V2 Gallery. New Orleans Arts District, NOLA

            Archives. Mountain VS Moon Gallery. Cloudcroft, New Mexico.

            Creators Deserve to be Seen Project. Chashama Gallery. 4 Time Square New York, New York.

            One of 4 founding Board of Directors for non-profit, POW (Protect Our Water) Driftwood, Texas

  • 2015 Royal Academy of Arts UK. Winning entry for shadow box competition, tribute to artist Joseph Cornell and art collector Robert Lehrman.

  • 2014 Permanent mural for public display. Walnut Springs Elementary. Dripping Springs, Texas.

            Me and the Bees. Lemonade Stand Commission. ABC's Shark Tank. 

  • 2011 Family moves to Driftwood, Texas

  • 2007 Birth of Son, Canyon.

  • 2006 Birth of Daughter, Mikah.

  • 2005 Married Jeff Shaw

  • 2004 Moved to Austin, Texas

  • 2003 Met art collector, philanthropist, Robert Lehrman on Amtrak during blizzard. In correspondence he encouraged the artist to "keep painting".

           Kara Vachon. Solo Exhibition. 13th Floor Gallery.  Chicago, Illinois.

  • 2002 Breaking the Full Court Press. Group Exhibition. Art Gallery Kafe. Chicago, Illinois.

  • 2001 Purser for flight to JFK airport, first day of flights released by air traffic control after 9/11. Flew directly above smoldering ground zero.

  • 1999 REASON. Silent interactive art installation. The artist placed 15 leaflets of the same poem in random in-flight seat back pockets. The poem was written by an anonymous author. The subject...everything has a purpose. The last paragraph written, "Dance like no one is watching, and love like you've never been hurt." These poems were distributed over a 6 year period.

  • 1998 Hired with United Airlines. Flight Attendant. Moved to Chicgo, Illinois.

  • 1994 Managed Novations Art Gallery. Dallas, Texas.

           Sold first Large Commissioned painting. 

  • 1993 Private NASA tour, inspired by water recycling technology for future International Space Station.

           Transferred to the Fine Arts/Communication Design program.  University of North Texas.

  • 1991 Entered Marymount University and Satellite program Georgetown University (ROTC)

           Recipient of the Who's Who in Art, High School Edition.

  • 1990 Awarded 1st place UIL State Competition, Painting.

  • 1985 Painted 1st painting at 12 years old.

  • 1978 Family moved from Florida to Spring, Texas.

  • 1973 Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma during an ice storm.