Meet Our Dedicated Team

Although GYST is an artist project by Karen Atkinson, she also works with a dedicated team of other artists to make this sh*t happen. All of us are working artists with an active professional artist life, and we are committed to making life better for all artists.


Karen Atkinson
President and Founder

Karen runs this project as her current art practice, think of it as beyond social media and relational aesthetics. The goal of this project is to make life better for artists.

Karen Atkinson is a media, installation, public artist, independent curator, and collaborator. Atkinson has published and guest edited a number of publications. Exhibiting and curating internationally, Atkinson's work has been shown in South Africa, Australia, Europe, Mexico, Canada, throughout the USA, and in the Fifth Havana Biennial in Cuba and the 2011 Biennale de Paris. She has a Ted Talk on hybrid careers for artists:

In 1991, she was a co-founding director of Side Street Projects, a non-profit artist-run organization in Los Angeles, which continues to thrive now in Pasadena. Atkinson has held a faculty position at CalArts since 1988, teaching Foundation Seminar, Context Revolt (addressing installation, public and net art), and her renowned Getting Your Sh*t Together class. She has taught workshops for over 20 years, both regionally and nationally, for organizations like the California and Boston Lawyers for the Arts, Side Street Projects, The National Association of Arts Organizations, and dozens of additional artist-run spaces and non-profits.

Karen created the GYST software for artists from scratch and in 2000 she founded GYST as an artist-run professional practices service company. Currently, Atkinson chooses to focus on making life better for artists and less on exhibiting her own work.

In her spare time she serves on Boards and Advisory Boards of local and national arts organizations, advises artists on their careers, and tries to get into as much art trouble as possible. To view some of Karen’s projects visit


Megan Flanders graduated with her BFA in Studio Art from CSU San Bernardino in 2012; since getting her sh*t together, her work has focused on the complexity of the Feminist struggle and the idea of digital identity--often blurring the lines between the two-- while reexamining women’s representation in the contemporary art world.  

She is a proud member of the AAM and ARCS, and has worked professionally as a preparator and independent curator for nearly a decade. Along with various museum and gallery jobs, Megan also served for three years as the director-at-large of The Walking Gallery (2009-2012, Pomona, CA) and co-founded the contemporary Feminist printmaking group [PAPERSLUTS] in 2013. Her work can be found at

Beyond our hardworking GYST team, we also have an amazing growing group of artists that are apart of our GYST associate program.  These artists are here to help us help you.  Check out more about these great arts professionals as well as the GYST Associate Program.