Meet the library artists: Karen McKee

In this new exclusive series, we will be featuring a Q&A with the artists who have their work on display in the Mt. Lebanon Public Library each month. The library has galleries in the upper and lower hallways, along with display cases that are best for smaller works. The upper gallery is booked through March 2025. Interested in displaying your work? Check out the guidelines here!


Name: Karen McKee

Business: Robyn’s Nest Pottery

Age: 71

Location: Plum Borough 

Where/when can your art be found in the Mt. Lebanon Public Library? Inside a display case in August

Art form: Ceramics

How did you get into this? More than 50 years ago my best friend introduced me to clay. She was a potter and we lived in the same apartment building. She went on to make beautiful pots for many years. I got sidetracked with raising a beautiful family of five children. I came back to clay in the ’90s, became reacquainted with my passion and started my business, Robyn’s Nest Pottery, in 2008. 

Tell us about your art. Is there a meaning behind it? What emotions do you intend to invoke? My focus is on making pieces that are used everyday. I use slump and hump molds to form a piece in addition to throwing the clay on the wheel. In decorating, I use stencils, underglazes and brushwork, creating pieces with lively flowers, crows and hummingbirds. Although the color is bright, it is my intention for each piece to illicit a calmness and quiet quality for the user. I hope that my pieces will be used as they are intended—serving, drinking and cooking, from my hands to yours—as an offering.

Why should Mt. Lebanon residents come see your display? Residents and surrounding neighbors should try to support artists and small businesses because like the library they are the foundation of the community. When you see a small business, whether it’s a brick and mortar shop or an artist going from show to show, you will find people congregating, talking, experiencing and enjoying life in the moment—a vital part of community. Artwork is eye candy and resonates differently with each person viewing the work. Try going to an art show with a group of people and you will get so many individual views on one piece of art! That’s what makes art so interesting and personal.

Where else can your work be found? So Me in Allison Park, Yart Sale at Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media August 26th, A Fair in the Park (Mellon Park, 5th Ave. and Shady) September 8-10 and Mt. Lebanon Artist Market, September 30 and October 1.