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50: Lauren Lee

When we last put the spotlight on 100 creative forces in Phoenix, it was no secret there were more than 100 individuals who were making waves in the local arts community. So as we count down to our annual Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome (back) to 100 Creatives.

50: Lauren Lee
Lauren Lee

Lauren Lee is a painter from Yuma. She moved to Phoenix 10 years ago to study fine art at Arizona State University. She says after graduation, she landed a gig at New School for the Arts and Academics, where she taught visual art for five years.

This spring, Lee left NSAA to, as her students would say "go get famous" and she has been working at that ever since. Currently, along with shows at Fair Trade and {9} The Gallery, she has been working on large scale public art for the Mesa Art Center, a collaborative mural for the upcoming Mesa Urban Garden and a mural at GreenHaus on Third and Roosevelt streets where she will also be having a solo show in October.

"Three Birds" mural by Lauren Lee on GreenHaus
"Three Birds" mural by Lauren Lee on GreenHaus
photo by Niba DelCastillo

I came to Phoenix with . . . big dreams. Being from a small town, Phoenix was this big, giant field of possibility.

I make art because . . . I believe in the communication of something real, something beautiful. An image is the most complete form of communication, it is not dependent on language or literacy. We are these feeling, thinking, living beings and art reminds me of my humanity, and of yours. It has always been the thought behind the art that intrigues me.

I'm most productive when . . . I am spiritually, mentally and emotionally connected to the work. When I realize that this might be the last thing I say, so I better make it good.

My inspiration wall is full of . . . roman candles, paint brushes, Buddhist statues and every color of Sharpie marker known to man.

I've learned the most from . . . the people I have loved. Love has informed my life as to what is important, what matters and what you take with you. I live as though I died a long time ago and this is just a free ride.

Good work should always . . . have heart. Tell a story. Reveal. Someone told me a long time ago "If you don't feel vulnerable after making a piece of art, destroy it and start again." This whole thing is about going deeper, creation and destruction, fear. Art should be a process of self actualization, the beautiful and the profane.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more . . . artists! I love meeting other artists, being creative is a beautiful thing and I think we could use some more beauty in this world.

The Creatives, so far ... (And while you're here, check out 100 Tastemakers on Chow Bella.)

100:Lara Plecas 99. Isaac Caruso 98. Brandon Gore 97. Kelsey Dake 96. Hector Ruiz 95. Caroline Battle 94: Jennifer Campbell 93. Jeff Chabot 92. Tiffiney Yazzie 91. Daniel Germani 90. Irma Sanchez 89. Daniel m. Davis 88. Kirstin Van Cleef 87. Emmett Potter 86. Sarah Hurwitz 85. Christine Cassano 84. Fred Tieken 83. Lindsay Kinkade 82. Ruben Galicia 81. Robert Uribe 80. Heidi Abrahamson 79. Josephine Davis 78. Travis Ladue 77. Taz Loomans 76. Mikey Jackson 75. Alex Empty 74. Joe Ray 73. Carol Roque 72. Daniel Funkhouser 71. Carla Chavarria 70. Hugo Medina 69. Cavin Costello 68. Claire Carter 67. Lindsay Tingstrom 66. Catherine Ruane 65. Christopher Crosby 64. Aaron Johnson 63. Brenda Eden 62. Colton Brock 61. Ernesto Moncada 60. Benjamin Phillips 59. Brad Armstrong 58. Angela Hardison 57. Tyler Quinn 56. Andrew James Benson 55. Charles Anthony Darr 54: Tiffe Fermaint 53. Eric Cox 52. Victor Vasquez 51. John Randall Nelson

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