Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Letchinger.
Laura, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up in a small town about an hour west of Chicago during the 70’s and early 80’s. Some favorite memories include riding my bike to an old limestone quarry to go swimming with friends or to one of many cornfields to watch windmills turn (sitting alone in the middle of rustling corn was actually pretty fun at nine years old) . . . and, of course, drawing hours at a go on a giant chalkboard in our basement. I spent a lot of time as a kid making art, and my plan was to be an artist when I grew up. One of the first memories I have of mark making was when I was very little and discovered piles of new white paper and freshly sharpened pencils in my grandparents’ attic. I vividly remember drawing a single crisp line across the vast emptiness of the paper, and for whatever reason, I loved everything about that. Still do.
Life took different directions though; I studied pre-med and psychology in school and by 1990 had been living in Chicago for three years when I began volunteering with a grassroots nonprofit environmental television show. That led to a passion for creating videos for nonprofits. I met my husband, a photographer and filmmaker, during that time; we moved to Los Angeles in 1996, continued working together, and had two kids. I began drawing regularly again while waiting in school carpool lines, which led to portable watercolors, and then to painting. So I’m a self-taught artist, having started painting about five years ago. Shortly after I was selling work online, and I’ve also been fortunate to have been represented by galleries in Houston and Los Angeles.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I make large contemporary abstract paintings. Though varied in style, many have an urban industrial or graffiti edge. Works are mainly acrylic on canvas, often combined with other mediums including pastel, graphite, crayon, ink, charcoal and collage. What interests me is ongoing connection with the creative energy that informs all inspired human activity, whatever that activity may be. The way I feel while painting is very similar to the Zen-like state that I used to experience as a distance runner — no thinking and time flying. It’s a very magical and hopeful place to create from and I like to think that people feel that energy in the paintings.
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
To me, up is down and down is up in a lot of ways these days, and sometimes it seems the task in front of the human race is on par with asking the earth to spin in reverse. But I am continually encouraged by the growing ways artists are using their talents to help create needed and sustainable change. Policymakers here in the U.S. and heads of states in general are definitely impacted by grassroots movements that are born of and sustained by creatives at many levels, from those who conceive the multi-faceted strategies of a powerful movement, to artists who contribute the words, music and imagery that give it energy, to those who create their daily lives in a mindful manner, realizing that everything is connected and that our highest potential as human beings can only be realized by loving and looking out for each other. So we are all artists in one way or another, and if we authentically do this last very significant bit, I believe the planet can heal. As for the art I make, it’s not obviously cause-focused. But there are other things I can do as an artist to help bring about positive change, for example inviting Piece by Piece to exhibit with me in our upcoming show and donating a percentage of my sales in support of their work.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My website contains images of available and sold work, as well as a number of commercial development and residential installations. Works in progress can be seen on my Instagram and subscribing to my email list is the best way to stay informed about shows and events. I also keep a “news” page up to date on my website. I am currently in a group exhibition at REN Gallery (RENgallery.com) in downtown Los Angeles through August 8th, and I have a show at Castelli Art Space in Culver City, CA the first week of October, with special guest Piece by Piece.
This amazing nonprofit provides free mosaic art workshops using recycled materials to low-income and previously homeless people in Los Angeles in order to build skills, self-confidence, earned income and an improved quality of life. (PiecebyPiece.org). As one artist said: “Broken pieces of glass, like memories in one’s mind are intrinsically worthless. I am gleefully reassembling the shattered fragments of my yesterday’s good life, transforming them into new and beautiful, real and touchable treasures.” More people need to see these fantastic mosaics, so please spread the word and save the date; I’ll have details in the coming months. If you’re looking to place large artworks in private or public spaces, please consider both Piece by Piece and Laura Letchinger Art. Studio visits by appointment; just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you have storage or work space that you can offer to Piece by Piece, please contact them through PiecebyPiece.org.
- Website: www.lauraletchingerart.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/llmodernart/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/LLModernArt
Laura Letchinger and JB Letchinger