Board Member: Karen Starr
Co-Owner and Interior Designer
Hazel Tree Design Studio
Karen Starr is Co-Owner and Interior Designer at Hazel Tree Design Studio. Founded in 2010 as a picture framing and interior design business in Akron, Ohio, Hazel Tree has evolved into a design studio and art curation business that creates locally-sourced, unique designs for interior and exterior spaces, produces a wide variety of art installations, and cultivates inimitable experiences. Supporting the local artist and maker communities is at the heart of Karen’s work.
Hazel Tree is known for their sustainable approach to interior design and for the large network of local artisans and companies with whom they work to create inspired design solutions. Over the years, Hazel Tree has also delved into public space design, reimagining Lock 2 Park and then Ohio & Erie Canal Park with Akron Civic Commons, creating outdoor living room spaces for the University of Akron and Stark State College Akron, and working alongside Akron Parks Collaborative on City of Akron park spaces.
Karen loves to co-create and support experiences and events that celebrate life in Akron and that unite people around common passions. Karen co-founded Free Outdoor Movie Night in Glendale Cemetery, which later blossomed into Free Akron Outdoor Movies. She co-founded and helps organize the Highland Square Porch Rokr Festival with Highland Square Neighborhood Association, and she collaborates on a variety of projects within Hazel Tree’s neighborhood, working with West Hill Neighborhood Organization on public art and placemaking initiatives.
In addition to serving on the ArtsNow Board of Directors, Karen was a member of the Akron/Summit Cultural Plan Steering Committee led by ArtsNow. Karen also serves on the Summit ArtSpace Board of Directors, where she sits on the Building Facilities Committee and the Artist’s Resource Committee.
Karen lives in Merriman Hills and is a singer with local rock-and-roll bands Roxxymoron and The Fourons. She has the most fun when she’s creating art with her hands, relaxing in or near the water, or dancing like nobody’s watching.