KAREN STEWART studied Fine Arts at Wits University and Graphic Design at the Johannesburg Art Foundation in the late 80s. In 2007 she completed her Masters in Illustration at Stellenbosch University, specialising in botanical art. Her thesis entitled 'Opening the Curiosity Box' was a critical look at the influence of colonialism on botany and botanical art.
In 2008 she curated the Kirstenbosch Botanical Art Biennale. The following year she was commissioned by Tokara Wine Estate to add to its botanical collection.
Her art has been exhibited in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Helsinki, and her work is in the prestigious Brenthurst Library and University of Stellenbosch’s Africana Library.
She is the author of a book about creative facilitation titled Boxcutter.
In 2013 Karen founded the Ah HA Company, which facilitates design thinking processes to unlock creative solutions to challenges.
She is also the executive director of Bright Sparks Creative Play, a non-profit company dedicated to bettering creative and entrepreneurial skills of teachers and children in township Early Childhood preschools.
As an Africa A+ fellow, she has trained preschool teachers to teach inspirationally using the Arts.