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Check out Laurie Shapiro’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laurie Shapiro.

Laurie, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’m a mixed-media painter and installation artist.

I got into art when I was young – it was something intuitive that I enjoyed doing.

When I was a junior in high school, I realized I needed to go to art school for college. My art teacher was definitely a mentor, and I talked to him about my decision. He highly recommended Carnegie Mellon University – which was where he went to school. It was at CMU that I realized it was even possible to be an artist in the “real world.” I felt very grateful to be at CMU and spent most of my time in the studios, developing my work.

After college, I moved to Oakland, California. I was very in love and married for a few years, running a small screen-printing business with my ex-husband. As time went on, the business did better and better – but I felt a huge lack because all I wanted to be was a full-time studio artist. It was initially hard to leave a life I worked hard to create, but I knew that I had to. In the summer of 2016, I moved into a private live/work art studio, and it was in the solitude of my own thoughts that my creative, intuitive, mind started to flow again.

After a residency at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles in spring 2017 I moved to Los Angeles. Moving to LA was another thing I intuitively knew I needed to do when my life in the bay area ended. After a month in LA, I felt like I needed to be working for something, and I reached out to the connects I had made. One thing led to another, and I ended up connecting with Radiant Space gallery in West Hollywood. We planned an art installation for the New Year. On January 6th, the opening for my first art show in LA had a line of over 1000 people waiting to experience “Before You Were Born.”

All this being said, my story is being written and much remains unknown. I am devoted to my work – it is a labor of love. I am very grateful for my experiences and the knowledge that comes from them. Each day I am learning more.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I make large-scale, tapestry-like, mixed-media paintings which are sometimes viewed from the wall and sometimes walked inside of. I’m drawn to colors and the process of creating – building up my paintings by hand-sewing painted segments and drawn screen prints onto muslin, followed by layers of over-painting.

Inspiration comes to me in moments of clarity and openness. I don’t think much about it, but I will intuitively feel inspired by some idea or moment – which I can creatively expand on through art. When I’m focused in the studio, I feel even more ideas and clarity come through me – a euphoric feeling.

I want to share love, beauty, and connection through my work – which all comes from a spiritual place. It took me some time to find internal happiness, and I want my work to share that feeling which is inside of all of us.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I’m going to be participating in The Other Art Fair – which is March 15-18 at The Majestic Downtown.

I just had a show at Radiant Space in West Hollywood, which went really well. I’m currently working with the gallery to figure out upcoming projects.

A great way to support artists you love is to purchase their work. I’m working on getting my online store together, but for now studio visits are a great way to see work you might be interested in. If you have an interest, please contact me.

In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
One challenge is finding funding – which allows you the time to focus on your work. “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.” You have to be OK with devoting your time to your work and making sacrifices that might not be understood by other people. You need to be aware of your individual strengths and assets so you can use those.

In my ideal society, more funding and resources would be available for artists. Innovative artists create new realities and ways of thought – which greatly influence our culture and are essential to our society.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Remo Fioroni, Octovio Martinez, Michael Isaac (portrait photo)

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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