Laura Christensen

forgotten-under-1MB Racing-under-1MB underconer-under-1MB tie-72dpi To-Float-To-Breathe-To-Hear-after-John-Cage-150-dpi

Work1 Title: Forgotten, Remembered, and Imagined (after Stephen C. Warren’s Memory Ware Tower, Bennington Museum) Year: 2015 Materials: Vintage photograph, acrylic paint, cherry wood, vintage velvet fabric Dimensions: H 11 W 7.5 D 2 Work2 Title: Racing Under the Sun Year: 2014
Materials: Acrylic paint, vintage photograph, velvet, and maple wood Dimensions: H 13 W 10 D 3 Work3 Title: Undercover Year: 2014 Materials: Two vintage photographs, acrylic paint, maple wood, brass Dimensions: H 7 W 10 D 2 Work4 Title: Tie Year: 2015 Materials: Vintage photograph, acrylic paint, velvet, cherry wood, black dye Dimensions: H 8 W 6 D 1.25 Work5 Title: To Float, To Breathe, To Hear (after John Cage) Year: 2014 Materials: three vintage photographs, acrylic paint, cherry wood, curly maple veneer, metal leaf, brass Dimensions: H 29.5 W 15 D 3


People look out from the past. They make eye contact. But they are not here. They are illusions on paper or metal, arrangements of shapes and tones reflected from a camera. Each person was unique, but their image can become like an every-person or a character in a myth.

In my art, figures in vintage photographs play roles in ambiguous, mysterious narratives. I make new stories from old ones.

Antiques shops often sell old photographs. You can find stacked in old boxes and hidden in drawers throughout the shop. I resurrect some from obscurity. And I change them. I paint directly onto the old photographs cancelling parts of the image and adding new scenes and characters: Chickens scrambling across a stage, a slow flowing river in which a girl wades waist deep, or a cat whispering into a toddler’s ear. The painting work is precise and subtle to look as if each new element had been there when the camera recorded the image.

For most painted photographs I design and craft small cabinets from maple or cherry wood. Some act as custom frames. Others work as cases or altars. Some have doors that open and close or slide left and right.

I am interested in how art and stories can help us glimpse profound meanings that are difficult to express directly. For me, each painted photo set in its cabinet, is like a poem for which I have no words.


1997   M.F.A. Utah State University
1987   Honors B.S. Saint Louis University
1987   Honors B.A. Saint Louis University

2013  Bennington Museum  Bennington, VT
2004   MCLA  North Adams, MA
2002   SVAC  Manchester, VT

2015   Bennington Museum  Bennington, VT
Good Purpose Gallery    Lee, MA
2014   Brattleboro Museum and Arts Center
Brattleboro, VT
Albany Public Library  Albany, NY
2013  Albany International Airport Albany, NY
2011  The Second Avenue Firehouse Gallery
Bay Shore, NY
2010  MASS MoCA    North Adams, MA
2009  Greylock Arts    Adams, MA
2008  Gallery 51    MCLA    North Adams, MA
2007  Kidspace at MASS MoCA
2005  The Arts Center of the Capital Region
Troy, NY
2002  Offenes Haus Oberwart
Oberwart, Austria
1997  Tweed Museum of Art    Duluth, MN
1995  Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Salt Lake City, UT

2016   Artist’s Resource Trust (A.R.T.) Grant,
a fund of the Berkshire Taconic
Community Foundation
2014   Adjunct Faculty Award  MCLA
2011   Individual Artist Grant
A fund of the Cultural Council of
Northern Berkshire, a local agency
which is supported by the MCC, a
state agency
2007   Artist’s Resource Trust (A.R.T.) Grant, a
fund of the Berkshire Taconic
Community Foundation
1999   Artist Residency
Anderson Ranch Arts Center
Snowmass Village, CO
1994 -1996    George B. and Marie Eccles
Caine Foundation Scholarship
Utah State University    Logan, UT

John E. Mitchell, “Christensen adds to the past in hybrid works,” North Adams Transcript, MA, Dec. 4, 2009

Joseph Dalton, “Art & Facts,” Times Union, Albany, NY, April 24, 2005

Place: Williamstown, MA