Pantea Karimi is an Iranian-American multidisciplinary artist, researcher, and educator based in San Jose, California. Her work explores the intersection of science, art, and history through investigating documents, scientific manuscripts, and historic objects at major libraries and archives around the world. Taking her cue from her research and Iran’s historic art, and visual culture, Karimi’s work highlights political and societal issues, and personal narratives, and tackles issues of representation and dissemination of the scientific, artistic, and intellectual heritage. She employs virtual reality (VR), performative video, sound, traditional and digital print, and drawing in her work.
Pantea Karimi has lived, studied, and worked in Iran, the UK, and the US and presently resides in San Jose, California. Karimi started her training in fine arts and classical music at the age of 14 alongside her studies in science. She was fascinated by the correlation between abstract ideas in science and their visual representations, especially in the fields of mathematics and plant biology. The intense educational system and the societal pressures in post-revolutionary Iran during the war led her away from scientific pursuits in the direction of art and design as a career. Karimi’s education in graphic design prepared her for both commercial work and academic research. To complete her Master’s Degree at the Art University in Tehran, she studied the first Iranian newspapers in the 19th c., which were printed from a stone lithographic process, in the archive of the University of Tehran’s Central Library.
In the UK, Karimi earned the BTEC Diploma in Printmaking from Hastings College of Arts and Technology. When she moved to the USA, she got a second Master’s Degree in painting and printmaking from San Jose State University.
Karimi’s fine arts and graphic works are held in public and private collections and have been featured in several publications and media in Iran, Italy, Croatia, the UK, and the United States including an interview with the KQED, California Report in 2020. Her prints and digital works have been exhibited in diverse solo, group, and traveling exhibitions in Iran, Algeria, Germany, Croatia, Mexico, the UK, and the United States, including the de Young Museum, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Google, the NASA Ames Research Center, the San Jose City Hall, The San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, the New Bedford Art Museum, MIT’s Rotch Library, Pikto Gallery in Croatia and Aun Gallery in Iran.
Pantea Karimi has served as a judge on multiple panels and in academic institutions including The City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, The University of Nevada, Reno, and the Euphrat Museum of Art. Karimi is the recipient of the 2022 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Artist Grant, the 2022 Mass MoCA the Studios Residency Award, the 2021 University of California San Francisco Library Artist in Residence Award, the 2020 San Jose Holding the Moment Art Award, the 2019 City of San Jose Arts and Cultural Exchange Grant, the 2019 Silicon Valley Artist Laureates Award, and the 2017 Kala Fellowship-Residency Award among others.
Karimi is an Adjunct Faculty in the Departments of Studio Art and Digital Media at the College of San Mateo and Cabrillo College and maintains a studio at Cubberley Artist Studios in Palo Alto, CA.