100 Creatives

12: Carolyn Lavender

12: Carolyn Lavender

Carolyn Lavender is a Phoenix artist who was raised in the Northwest. Her work has been political, abstract, and self-portrait based. Most often she is exploring ideas with animal images.

She graduated from ASU in 1992 with a MFA in drawing and has since shown steadily. She was included in ASU Art Museum's "Democracy in America" show in 2004 and helped found the eye lounge collective in Phoenix.

1. List five things on your inspiration wall: - A Life magazine photo of a mother black bear carrying her hairless cub in her mouth. I clipped this photo when I was in grade school and it has been hanging where I can see it ever since. I never tire of it. - On the same wall with the bear photo is my mummified rat that has been spray-painted gold. Not sure why my husband sprayed this guy gold after we found him, but it is one of my favorite things. - My journals, which are stacks of notebooks that I have been writing in since age 14. They started to get visually interesting in the early '90s when I began collaging in them. - My yard. It is a place where I can deal with scale, manipulate nature, plant obsessively, and observe urban wildlife. - Art history. While my interests continually evolve, the subject never gets old.

2. What was your last big project? Last fall I finished a 24 x 54" piece that took almost 3 months of more than full time work to complete. It is an intricate graphite drawing that is a mindscape picturing the scene of an actual suicide of someone I met once. I populated the scene in the woods with 50 birds and animals that are reacting to the sadness of the place.

3. What's your next big project? The "What Goes On and What Takes Place" show at Modified Arts in February 2011. Monica Aissa Martinez curated Sue Chenoweth, Mary Shindell and I in what will be a four-person group show. The large canvas piece I am doing will have 200 individual animal portraits all drawn in graphite. Each animal is making eye contact with the viewer. It will be the most time-intensive piece I have ever done.

4. Why do you do what you do? It is like talking and breathing, it can't be separated from who I am and how I live.

5. What's something you want Phoenix to know about you? I like to walk the walk. I am a sometimes neighborhood activist, political activist, feral cat tamer, and I always recycle, compost, and conserve. I am proud of 18 years of teaching art part-time. And if you're game, what's something you don't want Phoenix to know about you? Maybe Phoenix doesn't want to know that I collect and keep the shed cat claws I find in the house from my two cats. I have filled five-eighths of an inch of a spice jar in three years.

The Creatives, so far:

100. Fausto Fernandez
99. Brian Boner

98. Carol Panaro-Smith

97. Jane Reddin

96. Adam Dumper
95. Mayme Kratz
94. Daniel Tantalean
93. Yuri Artibise
92. Lisa Starry
91. Paul Hoeprich
90. Betsy Schneider
89. Mary Shindell
88: Gabriel Utasi
87: Tiffany Egbert
86. Angela Cazel Jahn
85. Dayvid LeMmon
84. Beatrice Moore
83. Michelle J. Martinez
82. Carrie Bloomston
81. Paul Porter
80. Rachel Bess
79. Karolina Sussland
78. Aaron Abbott
77. Mary Lucking
76. Erin Sotak
75. Greg Esser
74. Matthew Mosher
73. Mark Klett
72. Tony Carrillo
71. Paul Morris
70. Joe Pagac
69. Alison King
68. JJ Horner
67. Kim Porter
66. Marco Rosichelli
65. Heather Hales
64. Amy Lamp
63. Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker
62. Lindy Drew

61. Robbie Pfeffer
60. Neil Borowicz

59. Lynn Fisher

58. Tanner Woodford

57. David Tinapple
56. Casebeer

55. Tom Leveen

54. Patti Parsons

53. Tedd McDonah

52. Mike Maas
51. Chris Todd

50. Monica Aissa Martinez

49. Stefan Shepherd

48. Jenny Poon

47. Matt Moore

46. Andrea Hanley

45. Julie Hampton

44. Ted Decker

43. Saskia Jorda

42. Michael Bergfalk

41. Scott Baxter

40. Carrie Marill
39. Kobina Banning

38. Suzanne Falk
37. Jon Haddock

36. Kade Twist

35. Cindy Dach

34. John Wagner
33. Roy Wasson Valle

32. Sue Chenoweth
31. Patricia Colleen Murphy

30. David Quan

29. Lesli Yazzie
28. Nathan Feller

27. Cassandra Coblentz

26. Matt Dickson

25. Tara Logsdon

24. Gennaro Garcia
23. Tiphanie Brooke

22. Dan Semenchuk

21. James Angel
20. Tessa Windt
19. Mitch Fry
18. Miro Chun
17. Randy Slack
16. Abbey Messmer
15. Jessica Jordan
14. Brent Bond
13. Peter Shikany

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton