Enriching lives through art and craft

Lauren Kussro

Lauren Kussro
Luscious Jewel, 2020
Monotype and silkscreen on paper, wire, beads

3-D Paper Play / August 1 – 6, 2021

Artist Statement:
At the core of my work is a love and appreciation of nature from the micro to the macro, and a desire for the natural world to be restored from its current state – for all things to be renewed.

The complexity of the universe invites exploration and discovery, and is part of what I find appealing – the layers upon layers that wait to be revealed to the curious and patient observer. Vast strata of details and worlds within worlds are found throughout physical forms in creation, from galaxies to cells, and even in our intellect and spirituality we are deep wells of mystery. For me, the act of making is closely linked with my faith and is a physical way of investigating, considering, and communicating my beliefs and humanity.

Centered in the space between play and discovery, I engage in the creative process. I work intuitively, experimenting with materials until I find a form that excites me and causes me to investigate further. Not having a set idea of what I want a finished piece to look like enables me to respond to the form and materials as I work. My investigations often lead to the creation of amalgams, combined ecosystems that can reflect aspects of both the ocean life and forest floor. Nature is bizarre but wonderful, whimsical but majestic, and my work is most successful when it is able to portray a balance of that same tension.

Color is a vital component of my work. Recent pieces have incorporated a more intensely saturated color palette than I have ever used before, and I’m becoming increasingly sensitive to the nuances of colors, the way they interact, and what they can communicate. I see colors functioning much the same way notes do in music – the wrong color combination is like having an off-key note or a flawed chord. I’m always looking for the right color balance so that the viewer can sense a visual harmony.

My creative efforts are meditative, and I see the development of my ideas and skills as an ongoing spiritual discipline. It is an essential part of how I interact with God, and I find it to be the most effective way for me to share the wonder and awe I feel when I observe the natural world.

Artist Bio:
Kussro attended Herron School of Art & Design in Indianapolis for her undergraduate studies, earning a BFA in painting and printmaking in 2003. In 2006 she completed her MFA degree in printmaking at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She currently teaches at the University of Houston – Clear Lake, in Texas.

Kussro’s work has been shown in various locations around the country, including solo exhibitions at the Nashville International Airport, Twist Gallery, and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as group exhibitions at Kai Lin Art in Atlanta, the Dadian Gallery in Washington D.C., and the Manhattan Graphics Center in New York. Her work has also been exhibited in India and China. Her creative process is centered in a playful investigation of the natural world, and frequently features combinations of printmaking, sculpture and sewing.

ART WORKSTENNESSEE ARTS COMMISIONTENNESSEE FOR THE ARTSTennessee Specialty License PlatesEAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATIONWindgate Foundation Arrowmont is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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