Blog

This and That

The Plaza Art Fair came and went this year before I could sit and write a blog to entice your attendance. I hope you made your way down to Kansas City’s monumental art festival and saw me in booth 223, “across from Tivol, ladies,” as I like to say. If not this time around, don’t fret. Next year’s Plaza begins in just 350 days, at least according to the countdown clock on the show’s website.

As usual, the Plaza delivered huge crowds, omnipresent entertainment in the form of Kansas City music and the works of 240 artists, most of whom traveled “a fur piece” to be a part.

The heavy rains during the weekend proved a challenge, along with the inconsiderately planned Chiefs’ home opener. Even with all that, I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. 

When I first came to KC 15 years ago, I managed to weave myself into the already bright and striking arts community. I showed my work in a variety of venues, including ones like the Plaza Art Fair. With all of the friends, fans and collectors met and made along the way, we’ve become a part of each others story. Each year of the eleven I’ve been at this particular show, we pick up where we left off and add more chapters. To not be a part of the Plaza...well, it would be a big void for me. 

And hopefully not just me.

So what else is going on? Lots, including updating this website! I’ve added a gallery of “smalls” and a link to my exhibition catalog that can be viewed and purchased here.

Stay tuned for fall and winter events at my 1014 East 19th Street space. I am planning two (TWO!) pre-holiday affairs with lots of special incentives for you to visit and build on your collections. If you are not on my mailing list, please do sign up so you don’t miss out.

Until next time, and let’s not wait another 350 days for it to happen,

Laura



Summah'

Or, Summer, as non New Englanders say it. What are you up to? Where are you planning on being or wishing you were...

My current location? Kansas City studio, mostly. And while here, I'm painting a little, but not too much. I pushed myself hard to be ready for my June Exhibition, “Not Everything Will Be Replaced” at the Bunker Center for the Arts. The results were better than I imagined, all around, including the installation, visitors, feedback and my new lack of nervousness at public speaking events. I hope you were able to come by - if not, I'll include some photos here.

You are also welcome to book a studio visit. It includes the interior view and lots of new and recent works on the walls and in the rack.

In the meantime, in the shallow mid-summer, I am reading Ninth Street Women by fellow MICA alumna Mary Gabriel. It's about one thousand pages so, 50 at a time, maybe I'll have a book report by September.

Take care,

Laura

P.S. I almost forgot! Through July 27th, Artful Home is offering 20-50% off original fine art and craft, including select pieces of mine. Check it out from your deck chair, beach blanket or pool chaise.

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Studio Visit

In 2018, I gave up having a "home studio" after a couple of decades of making paintings where I lived. It was a big step to go off-premises, but an important move I have come to both value and embrace.

When I worked at home and could be “in the studio” by accident, it meant never really drawing a line between work and, well, more work. Having a separate location means considering what would most benefit from my attention and not letting the studio be a default position when there isn’t an immediate answer for that.

Don’t get me wrong - my boss is still one tough broad. Big expectations and not a lot of patience for slacking.

However, by acknowledging that art is a vocation before it is a profession and therefore a dominating force in how an artist makes decisions about time well spent, there must also must be a protective mechanism to prevent the avoidance of everything else. Art does involve experience, after all, and does not benefit in the long term from isolation and self-reference.

My current workspace is in the east Crossroads of Kansas City at the Bunker Center for the Arts. The building currently houses eight artists and three galleries. I welcome studio visits and am cheered by drop-ins and appointments alike. The Bunker galleries are open during Kansas City’s First Friday, with new exhibitions each month. My studio is usually open too, during these events. I’d like to see you here if you haven’t made it over yet.

Next blog, I'll be talking about my recent “filling thy cup” adventure. I was most definitely NOT in the studio for that. Stay tuned!

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September Exhibitions

It has been a typically busy summer @lauranugentpaintings. I have kept up a daily painting routine in my Kansas City studio and am showing new works in several venues:

The Arts Company in Nashville did their usual fantastic job installing the “Color and Balance” show and making welcome hundreds of folks during the opening. Here is a quick peek of my pre-show artwork delivery and discussion with gallery assistant Aaron Head.

The Kansas City Flatfiles show is a biennial exhibition that invites the public to browse unframed works from emerging and established artists. Curators from around the US are brought to Kansas City to select individual works to be exhibited in salon style arrangements.

Artist Sonie Ruffin has put together “Cultural Legacy,” a large group exhibition that, in her words “is being utilized to show us who we are and what we are doing in relation to the current cultural landscape.” It is a powerful show, displaying a broad talent base of regional artists.

It’s hard for me to fathom that this upcoming Plaza Art Fair will mean my tenth consecutive appearance at the show. I have endeavored to have a booth of entirely fresh works, not yet shown in Kansas City. My new series of paintings is meant to delight with its curved lines and unexpected color relationships. I hope to catch up with many of you there.

If you find yourself in Kansas City, do come by my studio sometime at The Bunker Center for the Arts. There is always a compelling display in the galleries and many artists making a daily practice out of their work.

Enjoy Your Stay

I am pleased to announce the completion of a project that began with an inquiry to this website in 2016. The curator of the Hallmark Art Collection asked if I would be interested in talking about a planned renovation at one of the company's properties. After months of discussion, we had an agreement wherein I would paint 13 original works for each of the hotel's residential floors at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City. 

Working within the same parameters as my current practice, along with the added encouragement of the curator who memorably said "make paintings that excite you," I embarked on the paintings. JGA Fine Arts custom built and delivered each of the pristine 60"x40" wood panels. My studio and exhibition schedule allowed me to work on three at any one time. 

About halfway through, an obvious shift in color palette and form occurred. Visiting the site several times during the process, I could see that these paintings would be the focus, the only object greeting guests as they exit the elevators and eagerly head to their rooms. Each painting became a little more bold in color and form with the striking inclusion of curved lines. Titles such as "Somnolent Charm" and "Interior of Dreams" reflect my own experience traveling the country to show my work and staying in hotels, always relieved to put down somewhere for three of four days at a time. 

These lobbies are accessible by the public so when in Kansas City, take the street car to Union Station and enjoy some time riding the elevators of the Westin, floors 6 - 18.  If you can't make it to KC, you may view the works on my Instagram