Michele Lauriat:

Drawings from the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge

 

June 28 – August 18, 2023

Opening Reception: June 30, 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Artist Reception and Gallery Talk: Friday, July 14, 5pm, Talk at 6pm

LA Arts is excited to announce the upcoming exhibition of new and recent works by Boston-based artist Michele Lauriat which will run June 28 – August 18, 2023. Lauriat received a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and a MFA in Studio Art from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has exhibited extensively throughout New England and her work is displayed in public, private, and corporate collections.

By utilizing a range of watercolor and drawing techniques to build images, Lauriat creates mesmerizing landscapes alive with color, pattern, and geometric order. With a close personal connection to the Maine landscape, her exhibition at LA Arts will feature works inspired by the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, Maine.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held during LA Arts’ June Artwalk on Friday, June 30, 5:00pm – 7:00pm. A special reception for the artist will be held on Friday, July 14, beginning at 5:00pm, followed by a gallery talk at 6:00pm.

Artist Statement

I make large colorful landscape drawings. My process begins with observations, drawings, and photos made on site, and continues when I bring those elements into my studio. While in a landscape I look for patterns of all scale – repeating blades of grass, branches that share a direction or bend, or a sense of geometric order in an area of erosion. These repetitions that I find in nature are also found in a great deal of art, music, and design. Patterns hold the stories of our lives together too; they give us an anchor, a roadmap, and momentum. If we do not step outside our patterns every once in a while, however, we can be devastated by an unexpected disruption. Therefore in my search for repetition, I also look for places where patterns fall apart or overwhelm themselves and become chaotic or distorted – or simply end.

I first visited the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, Maine in 2018.
The vivid colors of the coastal meadows, framed by the shady forest, drew me in immediately. I decided to create this series of drawings to explore those colors, to honor the continued hard work being done to conserve wildlife habitats, and of course, to honor Rachel Carson. As climate change is increasingly affecting costal areas, I also wanted to speak to my fear that some damage is inevitable.

The colors in this series are intense and often reach beyond reality – beyond what is natural. My favorite writings by Rachel Carson are her observational writings about the sea and coastal areas, but her most famous work, Silent Spring, about how toxins effect our environment, was present in my mind as I made this body of work. So there are some moments in this series where the color feels a little unnatural – and perhaps a little uncomfortable.

There is one piece in this exhibition that includes text. It depicts the names Reznicek and Montoya. Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya are climate activists who are in federal prison sentenced to domestic terrorism for confessing to the destruction of equipment used to build the Dakota Access Pipeline. The charge of domestic terrorism adds their names to a list with Ted Kaczynski and Tim McVeigh. It seems more appropriate to me to associate their names with the likes of Rachel Carson, so I have included them in this series.

I work in open-ended series and all of my drawings are untitled. I think of each drawing as a drop in the bucket when it comes to describing the place they represent. Nature is overwhelming to draw when you are in it. We can never nail down all of the details or data points of a place as they change too quickly. The accumulation of my untitled drawings in an open-ended series is a nod to our inability to truly know a place or predict how its patterns will change.

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Since 1973, LA Arts, the arts agency for the cities of Lewiston and Auburn Maine, has pursued a mission to engage and inspire a vibrant community through arts and culture. The agency works with governments, businesses, schools and local arts and cultural organizations to create opportunities for community members across the generations to experience, learn, and participate in the arts. LA Arts organizes arts programs and initiatives, supports the work of local artists and arts organizations, and highlights the essential role the arts play in shaping an economically vital, socially integrated, and forward-looking future for its community. Learn more at www.laarts.org.

Located at 168 Lisbon Street in Lewiston, the LA Arts Gallery presents six exhibitions throughout the year that reflect and honor the Twin Cities community. Exhibiting artists generally have ties to LA or to Maine. 

With each show, LA Arts aims to bring individuals and groups together to strengthen our community through shared experiences and deeper cultural understanding.

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TUESDAY – THURSDAY

9:30AM – 2:30PM

FRIDAY & SATURDAY

12 – 6PM

& by appointment:

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