Traditional Pavement Artist
CURATED ARTIST 2017
Lori is a fine artist residing in North San Diego County and a native of Los Angeles. Her professional career began at the age of twelve when neighbors would hire her to execute portraits of their loved ones in oil and pastels. Lori’s love for art and history has taken her to the Mediterranean to study history, culture, artists and artwork. Her artistic interests are figurative, and she practices in a variety of wet and dry medium on paper, canvas and ceramic. She has created various public art installations such as community based mural projects and fine art paintings throughout Southern California.
Why and how I came to be a Street Painter or Pavement Artist I can’t answer except - I know it was fated. About 10 years before I started, in the early 1990s I was doing corporate Graphic Design and had an Astrologer come to me; I was curious and bartered for readings. What they all told me was that I “would be doing Art – traveling the world, bringing multitudes of people together through my Artwork and it would be very physical.” At that time, hoping to shift away from corporate to fine art, I had asked “will I be hanging oil paintings on canvas in galleries?” They replied: ”…ummm, not so much.” There was no “pavement artist” word, yet. In 1994 I was asked if I wanted to do chalk pastel at a festival in Whittier California. By then I had moved into community arts more and went with my gut.
I hated the first thing I chalked (my own imaginative idea – don’t ask me to share it) but I feel in love instantly with the medium of chalk on the sidewalk. The following year I brought the idea to a civic art group I led and selected a Van Gogh Artwork to replicate. I felt much more comfortable reproducing Master Artwork. That grew into a continued movement towards reproducing Baroque Period, Pre-Raphelite, and Academic style, Master Work. Every so often I try my own work, but I am never happy. Sometimes when I go to other communities I work with them to figure out what their community would like. In the process, I have found other cultures interests can be quite different from my own. My only requirement is “It has to have flesh.” I love rendering the human form on the asphalt. The dark grey undertone of the street makes flesh “sing.” It has always been the “thing” that engages people with my work.
My connection to the audience is a great balance for my isolation working in my studio. It is hard for me to work on showcasing my oil painting when I am focused on Street Arts at 60 so I am sensing a redirection from the Universe. I thought I was quitting at 20 years, but had two hip replacements. I’m on year 23 as I write this, so who knows.
What I’ve enjoyed most is cultural exchange over the years. Canada, China, Mexico, the USA. Its not about what I see when I travel – its about who I meet and what we do. The way strangers have hosted me, taken me into their homes and showed me their communities, I’m quite grateful. I’ve always had a dejavu about this aspect of my life. I know it is supposed to be this way for sure.
It is so hard sometimes, but I have a “faith” about my involvement in Pavement Arts and Community Arts in general. I don’t know how things are going to come together and be realized (like murals and events) but they always do – the work always gets completed.
My technique is varied. I have worked on archival substrates, with archival materials (ergo not so ephemeral)j, and with with water based kids paints and chalks in the streets. I have learned a ton about chalks, pigments and color overtime but each street painting I push myself to do better and meet the unique challenges each event provides. Originating from California, I was spoiled by streets all paved with beautiful slurry asphalt. When I first began traveling, I was shocked at pavement with no slurry. I did not realize it as such, but it was a metaphor for my life, as life began throwing things my way which I could not control. I am a better person because I have learned to adapt to those challenges.
Education: BA Visual Communications San Diego State University Cum Laude; Los Angeles Trade Tech Certificate Commercial Art, Associated Arts; West Los Angeles College AA Art; Domiquez Hills University Art History
Vocation: Advertising Design and International Marketing Collateral; Founder Design Etcetera (1981); Community Arts, Pavement Art; Instructor of Art, Arts Event Planning Consultant, Artist
Recognitions: USMC and San Luis Rey Rotary commendation for Volunteerism; Founding President Culver City Art Group; Founding Director Ballona Creek Non-Profit; Award Winning Madonnari Pavement Artist; Inaugural Artist Avendas de Colores (aka The Chalk Festival); Published Scholar, TRAC 2015 Proceedings “As It Is”
Started Pavement Painting: 1994 (23 years)