Lauren Lake is an artist whose work focuses on the surreality of the “garden,” which exists as both natural and artificial. Instilling contradictory symbolism in unfamiliar imagery, the garden itself is an ironic place that symbolizes perfection and imperfection at the same time. She is particularly interested in the cultural constructs of gardens that must be seen in a broader sociological and political perspective, as well as the consideration of gardens as “neutral” or “pure,” devoid of political or professional interests. She regards the garden landscape as an analogy to drawing and to consciousness in that the garden is a locus of the human condition.
Her current studio investigation considers what author, journalist, activist, and professor Michael Pollen describes as “messy places where the human and the natural come together." Her drawings borrow the grammar of botany, garden architecture, and agriculture to create artworks that inspire saudade, a nostalgic longing to be near again to someone or something that has become distant or has been loved and then lost.
Lauren earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education from the University of Florida and her MFA in Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wis. Professor Lake is currently the Chair of the Department of Studio Art at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas. Prior to this appointment she was the Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala., and concurrently served as the Associate Director, Graduate Chair and Director of Graduate Studio Studies at the University of Florida School of Art and Art History, Gainesville, Fla.
Lake’s core values of safety, inspiration, and sustainability frame her administrative goals and leadership vision. Her artwork has been exhibited internationally in numerous exhibitions.