Featured Artist: Lauren Curtis

Age: 46

Hometown: Colonia, NJ

Current town: Franklin Park, NJ

Job description: Full time visual artist

Bio: Lauren was a featured artist on the Science Channel‘s TV show Oddities in December, 2011 through June, 2012. She has had artwork and poetry published by greeting card and crafter companies, magazines and historical organizations, including the Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission. One of her pieces was selected for the permanent collection of the Joyce Kilmer Library in central NJ. Her work has been displayed in private collections, healthcare centers and galleries and was selected for a solo exhibit at Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters, July-August, 2009. Lauren has done radio interviews and has participated in over 95 solo, group & juried exhibitions and is also a member of several NJ Arts organizations. Her artwork has been sold throughout the US and abroad, and can be seen in venues in NJ, NY, MA and PA.

Behind Fear...
Behind Fear…

Upcoming projects: ArtPrideNJ’s Artist of the Month, new blog posts, NJ art exhibits

Select links:

http://jerseyarts.com/ArtistGallery.aspx

http://laurencurtisart.weebly.com (NEW fine art site!)

http://laurencurtis.wordpress.com (my Blog)

COGnition
COGnition

What are you working on?

Currently I’ve been focused on a series of digital photographic collages entitled “X-RAYted”…so called because the main feature is photos I take from human x-rays and I collage them with other original photos and elements, including Victorian woodcuts. The series has been doing well in exhibits and has a dark, almost Steampunk feel. I’ve also recently self-published an art book about this series which I’ve been selling online.

What’s your art background / when did you begin really focusing on art?

My father was my first teacher when I was a kid and then I continued with art lessons throughout school. I was accepted to an honors graphic design program at Parsons in my senior year of high school, and I received my BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers). I knew I wanted to be an artist as a career in 7th grade.

Caged Nerves
Caged Nerves

What’s been happening in your life/ what’s next for you?

I’ve been exhibiting regularly throughout NJ and other states and also concentrating on building my online/social network following through my blog and facebook pages. Aside from my fine art I also do freelance graphic design and illustration. Currently I’m illustrating a children’s book for a client in NY, doing CD covers for a musician in MA and have been doing an ongoing Steampunk gazette project with a client in FL. I’ve also been designing a lot of book covers for a talented writer in PA.

Any exhibits coming up/ past exhibits you’d like to mention?

Currently I have a B&W photo in an exhibit in Gallery U in Red Bank, NJ and I have 2 oil paintings in a show in the South Brunswick, NJ Municipal Gallery.

2 new shows coming up that are:

SMALL WORKS, 3 Artist Show, McCall Gallery, Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie, Trenton, NJ, located in Cadwalader Park in a gorgeous, historic mansion.
March 1-June 30, 2013. Opening Reception, Sat., March 9, 6-9pm. I have 10 NJ photos in this exhibit.

RITES OF SPRING, Juried Show, 2013, Gallery @ 14 Maple, Morris Arts Council,  14 Maple Ave., Suite 301, Morristown, NJ, 973-285-5115.
March 27- Sept.4, 2013. Opening Reception, Wed., March 27, 6-8pm. The digital photo collage featured in this email will be in this exhibit.

Double Vision Seraphim
Double Vision Seraphim

What is one of the biggest challenges you face as an artist?

Being able to support myself financially. I made the leap to full time artist a few years ago and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made for my career but extremely difficult, money-wise, especially in this economy. Too many people take art for granted and on freelance job sites often expect artists to work for literally pennies! And too many artists WAY under-sell their work, which devalues it for all of us.

Has the meaning of your work changed over time?

I think I’ve stayed true to my intentions for my work…it has always had a spiritual/Wiccan/nature aspect to it that I’ve retained throughout the years even though my styles and media have changed some.

XrayFruitsOfHerLoinsSm
Fruit of her Loins

Are you involved with any organizations/ do you collaborate with other artists?

Over the years I’ve belonged to several NJ arts organizations and I’m currently a member of the Highland Park Artists Collective. We work together to put on local group exhibits. I’ve also exhibited in events hosted by other NJ arts groups as well.

What are a few of your favorite spots in your area?

I LOVE getting out in nature and have taken many photographs along the historic D&R Canal system that runs through NJ and into PA. Coney Island and it’s famous annual Mermaid Parade is another favorite photo shooting spot for me.

XrayInnerVoice2010sm
Inner Voice

What is your ideal job?

Full time artist! I have my ideal job but just working to get it to the level I want it to be. Currently I’m looking for new galleries to work with to better enable me to find those collectors who want to purchase originals and/or larger sized photographic pieces.

Favorite artists and why/ people in your field whom you most admire:

There are so many talented artists out there that they’re just too many to name but one who inspired me more than most was Edward Gorey, the gothic/Victorian-style illustrator. I collect his books and had the privilege of speaking with him on the phone before he died years ago. His detailed, stylized pen & ink drawings had a huge influence on me!

What are you reading?

Currently I’m reading the latest issue of Professional Artist Magazine and I just finished a compilation of New Orleans inspired vampire short stories.

XrayMicroMacroTree2010sm
Micro/Macrocosm Tree

What was the first piece of artwork you bought/ do you buy a lot of artwork?

Actually I have several friends whom I have traded artwork with, especially photography. So I have work by friends in the US, the UK and Australia hanging in my house. The rest of the walls serve as my own gallery so when clients come by they can see a lot of my pieces covering a span of years and styles.

Your website(s):

http://laurencurtisart.weebly.com (NEW fine art site!)

http://laurencurtis.wordpress.com (my Blog)

http://www.facebook.com/LaurenCurtisArtTalonArt (Facebook Fine Art Page)

http://www.LaurenCurtisArt.com (commercial & fine art)

http://www.laurencurtis.imagekind.com (cards, T-shirts, photography, illustration)

(Note: Lauren’s X-RAYted hard cover 20pg. full color photo book is available for $29 (in the US) which INCLUDES s/h. $35 for international orders.)

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