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Lauren K Blair

Artist's Profile

Growing up in a teeny town in New England, I played trip tag and bloody murder with a gaggle of neighborhood kids; I went exploring in the woods behind our development, built some serious forts in the backyard and spent a ton of time creating. My mom used to call me a pack rat because I had small jars of discarded bits I had saved that I tried to assemble into new, larger bits.

As I grew I became comfortable thinking of myself as an artist and when we moved to Pittsburgh I began taking all kinds of art classes ranging from Japanese brush painting to illustration to anatomy. I got accepted into a BFA program at SUNY Purchase and promptly had a total art breakdown.

Thinking about art as a vocation made me choke. I couldn't see being a "starving artist" which to me meant being a fine artist in some ivory tower and I also couldn't see going into advertising. Not having the answer in terms of what to do with this dilemma, I just gave up and took a degree in Medieval Literature. Over several subsequent years I grew further and further from that artist self-identity.

Ten years ago I began snooping around the Community Thrift near me and eventually, I moved to an old Victorian neighborhood in PGH where I found my muse amidst historical architecture, art galleries, thrift shops and flea markets. I realized (or remembered) that expressing myself visually is part of my unique way of communicating with others and of understanding the world around me. In a divine epiphany I recognized this gift and began rediscovering the joy of creating. My work has become a celebration of the spirit of creation, the beauty of nature and the freedom of creativity.

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