This month we are excited to introduce the newest resident artist at Creative Gateways, Laura Hines. Check out the premiere of her work at our 1st Friday Exhibition: “As Above, So Below, As Within, So Without.”
Evolution of Community
2017 has been such an eventful and exciting year at Creative Gateways. It seems our first anniversary last month has catapulted us into the next stage of our evolution! New pieces from all of our resident artists have been flowing out of the studios, and a fresh and modern point of view has been welcomed into the family; artist and illustrator, Laura Hines.
Cycles of Nature
Laura grew up on a 5-acre property in a rural area of the Midwest, where she spent most of her childhood out in nature. It was here that she was introduced to the reality and beauty of nature. “I was an only child, so I had to make my own fun most of the time. We had woods and a creek on our property, and I used to go catch fireflies there, but I soon learned that if you hold them too long, they would die.” Spending time out in untouched nature ensured her exposure to the atypical beauty in the cycles of life, growth, and death.
A French Connection
Laura’s father was very inspired by French culture and spoke the language fluently. “I didn’t pick up much of it as a kid, although he tried hard to teach it to me. Our house was filled with French literature and bande dessinée which are French comic books.” After a period of depression in late adolescence and high school, Laura decided to pursue what was familiar and studied French at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. After a fulfilling exchange program in France, she returned with a Bachelor’s degree in French in 2007. One of her first jobs was in the corporate world, working as a game tester for Nintendo in Redmond, Washington. “It sounds like it would be a fun job,” she says “but it was very tedious. I worked mainly in the literary aspect of it, making sure the language was correct for their French Canadian audience and spent countless hours on just one level. My specialty did not allow any room to move up the corporate ladder. Days were long and I couldn’t take it after a while.” The farther away Laura moved from her love for nature, the more depression would set in for her.
Back to her roots
Laura’s next step towards her heart’s passion involved a leap into the fascinating scientific world of nature. In 2007 She enrolled in the Natural Science Illustration program at the University of Washington, where she earned an illustration certificate and a short time later worked for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as a Bartels Science Illustration Intern in Ithaca, NY. Determined to see this passion through, in 2011 she participated in the Illustration & Visual Storytelling summer residency at the School of Visual Art (New York, NY).
Following her gut
Illustration as a profession seemed only an idea to Laura, but after a while, she realized she had stopped listening to herself, and depression once again showed its face. “I realized that I needed to create art for myself,” she reflects, “I decided that the next step was to dive back into my own art.” To support this, she took a position at Juxtapose Magazine, as an Assistant Illustration Editor and Personal Assistant to artist and contributor Hannah Stouffer. This allowed her space and encouragement to pursue her own style, which paid off. Soon she would be a featured artist in both Juxtapoz Magazine and Creative Quarterly Magazine.
Style from the Roots
Her work primarily focuses on animal and human portraiture, using graphite pencils to render the delicate details of her evocative, monochromatic images. With time and nature as constant themes in her work, she explores the hazy veil between the past and the present, man and beast, living and dead. “My primary source of inspiration is 19th and early 20th-century photography,” says Laura, “where the living, conscious gaze of the dead becomes unsettlingly palpable.” The artist finds this same phenomenon in the animal gaze, where there’s an almost discernible spark of consciousness and spiritual recognition between species. “In that moment of connection,” she explains, “linear time and physical isolation fall away, revealing the invisible corridors that connect human beings to otherwise intangible realities.”
We are so excited that Laura has taken up residence in the Creative Gateways collective. There is nothing comparable to her pieces in Sedona, and we feel she will both fit in this environment and stand out in a refreshing, positive way. Join us this evening for our 1st Friday Exhibition, where she is premiering her work, will be sharing her inspirations, and answering questions!
Take advantage of our new falls hours, now open 10-5pm seven days a week!