In Loving Memory Of

K A R E N   A V I L A

October 15, 1946 / 8:25AM - June 28, 2005 / 10:38 PM

Photo: Self Portrait - October 2004

Karen Avila, 58, a gifted artist, realtor with French and French, former curator of the Gabriel Gallery, and gallery director of Shidoni Foundry, passed away suddenly on June 28, 2005. She is preceded in death by her parents, Charles William Tessmer and Ebbiah Marie Tessmer of Dallas. Karen is survived by her son, Darren Avila of Santa Fe, her sister, Sandra Tessmer of Dallas, her step-mother, Norma Tessmer of Dallas, and companion, Barbara Graham of Santa Fe. Karen was born on October 15, l946 in Dallas, Texas, attended Dallas schools and North Texas State University. Her careers were as varied as her many interests, including entertainment, travel, and art. However, Karen's first love was always the pursuit of artistic endeavors. She was an accomplished jeweler, painter, photographer and sculptor. A memorial celebration of Karen's life was held on Saturday, July 2 in Santa Fe and on July 10 in Dallas. Karen was a loving mother, steadfast sister, and loyal friend. She will be greatly missed by all those whose lives she touched. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Dogs Deserve Better, at P. O. Box 23, Tipton PA 16684,

Photo credit: Michael R. Moore, 1990

August 2005

Dear Friends,
Thank you for your thoughts, your prayers, your cards, your donations, your words, your tears, your
memories and most of all your LOVE. It is deeply appreciated and held in much gratitude.

Darren Avila

Photo: Cancun Mexico, circa 1980

“The changing of the seasons, the smell of apple pie in the oven, watching the miracles of nature, beautiful art and music and watching the World Series, can all be
special moments if one pays attention. For me, life is about stringing these special moments together like beads on a necklace. Art has been the constant in my life since childhood. It remains a source of spiritual and emotional support for me and I like to spend time with people that have the same appreciation for the creative process that I do. This encompasses a lot of territory and includes the visual arts, performing arts, literary and culinary as well. I have been in the retail art business for a long time as well as being a studio artist. When I look at a painting by Matisse, hear a Bach string quartet or listen to a Jimmy Hendricks guitar, I am transported.”

~ Karen Avila, 2004

Photo: Los Angeles - Circa 1972

Artist Statement ~

Creating works of beauty and integrity is, for me, the most satisfying way I have to give back to the world my gifts of energy, spirit and artistic skill. From the time I began to recognize my ability in elementary school to today, I have sought to maintain this

My introduction to metal work came during a high school art class and my facination with wearable art has continued to grow and evolve over the last 20 years. I relocated to Santa Fe in 1989, searching for new avenues and outlets for my jewelry. The new environment and stronger art market has had a very positive effect on the things that inspire me to create.

Today I am producing what I consider to be the most exciting work ever. The inspiration is coming
primarily from my interest in ancient cultures and their symbols. The fact that archeological explorations have unearthed examples of some of mankind’s highest artistic achievements, tells us just how important personal adornment has been to humanity since the earliest times.

It is my intention and hope that, for some, my work will rekindle a desire to look at these universal images for inspiration - whether it be for faith, love, courage or laughter.

Avila Sola Design Studio

photo: Senior Class 1964

Mom -
I will miss you beyond words. The ache in my heart is equal to the love I have for you, tremendous. Thank you for touching my life in every way. You are loved by many many people, who will miss you very much.

Your loving son - Darren

“Most of the beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends - but only one mother in the whole world.”

~ Kate Douglas Wiggin

photo: Toddler Karen, circa 1950