Karl J. Volk was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1932. Because of the U.S. economic situation at the time, and family tragedy, he was sent to Germany when only 11 months old, to live with two paternal uncles. While he was in Aschaffenburg, Germany, he lived for a time in the house of Mr. Adelbert Hock, who was a well-known painter of Aschaffenburg scenes and altarpieces. This early influence sparked Karl’s interest in art.
Karl returned to the United States in 1947, after the war had ended, and enrolled in his first United States learning institution, Halsey Junior High School, and learned English while others were learning German. His growing interest in art was again influenced by his art teacher, Ms. Drew. Continuing his education, he graduated from Brooklyn College in 1955 with a B.A. in Art Education. His teachers while attending college included: Mark Rothko, Burgoyne Diller, and Kurt Seligman. In 1962 he earned his Masters degree from NYU.
After his schooling, Karl began a teaching career, moving through the upstate New York State district in Margaretville, then Island Trees, Long Island, and Brookfield-Oriskany Falls, NY. His longest and final tenure was in the Spackenkill School District in Poughkeepsie, NY, lasting over 25 years. He has also lectured and conducted classes for adults in community programs, both in oil and watercolor. To continue to further his skill and interest, he has attended evening sessions at Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie, and summer sessions at the Woodstock School of Art, where he studied under Franklin Alexander, Alan Gavin, Margaret Flitsch and Chris Klingle. More recently, he has studied under Carolyn Edlund.
Karl’s style shows an enjoyment in working with watercolor, as well as the more studied approach demanded by his acrylic still lifes. He aims to spend more time doing landscapes of the scenic Hudson Valley. Karl is the curator for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie. He is also actively working to establish an Art Repository; a place where artwork from Senior artists can be cleanly and securely stored, in a climate-safe location; viewed and purchased upon request; and be available as a teaching and exploratory lesson for future artists, visitors, and friends.