A visual artist who works primarily as an encaustic painter but is skilled in many mediums, Karen Bubb is a member of Boise Open Studio Collective Organization (BOSCO). Bubb is the City of Boise's Cultural Planner in the Department of Arts & History, where she has worked since 1998 serving the cultural needs of Boise. She serves as a board member of the Mitchell Family Foundation (which gives grants to non-profit arts, environmental, and social service organizations). Bubb earned her Masters in Public Administration with a focus on cultural studies and a Graduate Certificate in Community and Regional Planning from Boise State University in 2008, and a BFA in mixed-media art with a minor in arts history from University of Oregon in 1990. She is currently a PhD candidate in BSU's Public Administration and Policy program, with a focus on cultural policy and cultural economy. She teaches design thinking and creativity skills for BSU's honors college and the Executive MBA program.
She is co-founder of Surel’s Place, an artist-in-residence program in Garden City, Idaho, and served on the board from 2011-2020. She helped found the Alexa Rose Foundation, which provides support for artists' creative practice, and was a board member from 2014-2021. Bubb served from 2011-2017 on the national Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Board and in 2012 she was honored with the Idaho Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Arts Administration.