Karen Maness

Karen L. Maness is the principal instructor of scenic art and figurative painting for The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance, and scenic art supervisor at Texas Performing Arts. Maness studied studio art and set design at Whittier College in Los Angeles, California, and continued her studies at Cobalt Studios in White Lake, New York, and The Florence Academy of Art in Italy. Her career as a scenic artist and practicing studio artist spans more than 25 years, with works held in private collections worldwide.

Areas of Expertise

Scenic Art, Hollywood Motion Picture Scenic Art History, Figurative Painting, Plein-Air Painting, Performance Design


Scenic Art, Figure and Fabric Painting

Recent Publications

  • The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop, Regan Arts 2016
  • "A Heritage Explored and Recovered"
    Perspective, The Journal of the Art Director's Guild, 2015
  • "Scenic Art and The Sight-Size Method"
    The Painter's Journal: Volume 4, Number 3, Winter 2006

Recent Works

  • WIDE OPEN: contemporary landscapes by R. Bennett, S. Camp and K. Maness - Georgetown Art Center (August 2017)
  • Painters Painting Painters: Davis Gallery, Austin, TX (September, 2016)
  • Austin Bergstrom International Airport painting exhibition (January-July 2016)
  • Women Painting Women: Texas - Georgetown Art Center (2015)

What do you enjoy most about being a part of the UT Theatre and Dance community?

Sharing my passion for painting and empowering the next generation of performance designers.

What is your favorite thing about Austin?

The creative community.