Michael Kareken has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Bush Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, Arts Midwest, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Vogelstein Foundation, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. He has received the Louise Nevelson Award for Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Kareken has exhibited his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions regionally and nationally. His work is in the collections of the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Minnesota Museum of American Art, among others, and he has exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Santa Fe. Kareken is represented by Groveland Gallery.