Raised in the Northeastern United States, Lauren Dana Smith is a painter and art therapist who lives on the mesa in Taos, New Mexico. She creates work that explores the interior spaces and exterior boundaries of physical form, the natural world, and human consciousness. A visual artist and mental health care worker shaped by intensive care units, hospice care, and the emergency rooms of New York City, she brings arts-based perspectives into the dialogue around living, dying, healing, and wellness in this country.
She is interested in honoring the depth, contour, and narrative of the American Southwest and its parallels to personal histories, myths, and memories. Smith studied painting and studio art and received her Bachelor of Arts at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY; she received her M.P.S. in Creative Arts Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.
This series of works explores the climate of the internal place, magnified through the layering of unexpected yet familiar images, forms, the emotional impact of color, and the stillness of memory. In my paintings, I am interested in the impact of personal and collective trauma and transformative experience on the psyche through the composition of abstracted forms, saturated colors, and unexpected encounters.
I make paintings that test the boundaries we choose and those we don’t. I find inspiration in daydreams, maps, nightmares, the topography of the place, family photographs, still life, and personal mythologies. I am interested in honoring the depth, contour, and narrative of our collective psyche and its parallels to personal and ancestral history and memory. I am interested in the experience of personal storytelling and the mirror it provides to us in times of calm and times of chaos.
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