Words from the soul of an author.

One of the best things about being a freelance artist is creating illustrations for novels. I get to work with imaginative authors to bring their visions and stories to life, and often, clients become friends along the way!  This is the case with Hawaiian author Samuel Omega Salt.  He hired me in 2014 to create many pen & ink illustrations for his spiritual, intriguing auto-biographical novel and we are now working on part 2.  I found his story so interesting that I invited him to be a guest blogger to share what inspired him to write his novel, “Preacher’s Kid”…

Bio 

My Father was an ordained Missouri Synod Lutheran minister, who served God  faithfully until his untimely death. Through Christ our Lord he gave me my  foundation built on the rock which I stand. The confidence of believing what  cannot be touched or seen, taken solely on faith.

Both sets of Great Grandparents came from the old world – Germany. Pre World War I. My only claim to fame is my Grandmother on my Father’s side was  born on the ship that brought her to this large melting pot called America. 

Wait a New York minute, that’s a fib. I am living proof miracles can, do and will  happen. From birth according to Mother, I came close to death as an infant on  numerous occasion. An as a young teen, I played chicken with a train caboose. I hit that caboose broadside doing over 100 mph. I literally walked away from that  major collision on my way to church. All of this and much more is in volume I  PK  Preacher’s Kid.

I moved to Hawaii in December 2003 from the original 13 Colonies, Atlanta  Georgia. Lost my southern accent to the Hawaiian W, which is a V sound.  HavaiiEwa is Eva. Little tidbit from your uncle Earl. Hawaii is where all  rainbows come from and the Menehune like to play tricks on you. 

I also lost my sister Ariel in January 2016 and the death of my Father is still very close to the surface. Adding fuel to the fire, not just writing about the previously stated, I also have to tell the story of Izzie. The second person I have  ever fallen madly in love with. Maria being the first. Many a day tears blind me from seeing the keyboard clearly and the shadows of melancholy over power me. Don’t be disheartened, I will recover and forge ahead. I’m currently  working on volume II and talking to a new publisher. 

“PK: Preacher's Kid - Volume One” book cover

“PK: Preacher’s Kid – Volume One” book cover

Synopsis

Facing his own image in the mirror and not recognizing his reflection was the last straw. A haunting figure broken on the inside and his attire skintight, gut sticking out from under the sweatshirt and overlapping his belt and pants. You would never guess he once was a star athlete half a life ago.  Zac found his way to Dr. Phoenix Redgrave’s doorstep, emotionally dead, fragmented into a million pieces of emptiness. His last chance for atonement and survival back to humanness.

Choices, two sides of the same coin. You can call it heads or tails — choose… and accept the consequences of one’s choices that may changes one’s path and the decisions one makes thereof. A wise man once said, “Think before you act and before you speak.” Choose wisely.

SOStreeMar2014sm(c)Lauren Curtis

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul out of troubles. Proverbs 21:23  Tree of Life Version.

Don’t talk so much. You keep putting your foot in your mouth. Be sensible and turn off the flow! Proverbs 10:19 Living Bible

Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse; all they do is run off at the mouth. Proverbs 18:The Message

An allAmerica boy your garden variety male specimen growing up in the Midwest. Zachariah Wolf is a ‘PK’, a Preacher’s Kid’. The son of a pastor means your life is always under a magnifying glass. What really happens behind closed doors is out of sight from the prying eye. From birth Zac struggled with an under-developed esophagus causing mucous to block off the air passage Zac would gasp for air. He also has a learning disability later deemed as dyslexia. This caused his mother to resort to extreme abusive tactics of discipline from as far back as he can recall. Can you memorize a prayer with your head in a toilet?  Now I lay me down to sleep…

As Zachariah grew into adolescence, the abusive relationship with his mother did not affect his athletic ability and achievements. The doors of opportunity opened as he gained popularity, he took full advantage with a full ride scholarship.

The escapades of young manhood did not escape him in college life.  Zac strutted like a rooster around campus moonlighting between two older chickadees. In reality, the women were the foxes in the coop. One got his virginity, both trained him to their pleasures of womanly wiles….

SOStombDec2014sm(c)Lauren Curtis

To read the full story you can find the book at amazon.com | Barns & Noble | iTunes | Google play

Title of the book is PK Preacher’s Kid volume one by Samuel Omega Salt 

Please write a review of the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

http://www.amazon.com/PK-Preachers-Kid-Volume-One/dp/1682131254

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pk-samuel-omega salt/1122651492?ean=2940150950245

 

 

 

Art takes Root in April

What better time than Spring to honor nature through art?  And the Tulpehaking Nature Center in New Jersey is doing just that this month!  One of my x-ray, digital photo collages has been accepted to this show so join us…details below!

Micro/Macrocom Tree (c)2010 Lauren Curtis

Digital photo collage using actual x-ray images.

ROOTED juried art exhibit at Tulpehaking Nature Center
Join us for this nature-centric art exhibit,  focusing on the importance of trees.
Opening Reception:  Fri., April 22, 2016, 6-8pm.  Exhibition on View: April 22, 2016 – September 4, 2016
157 Westscott Ave., Hamilton, NJ 08610

http://www.mercercountyparks.org
http://abbottmarshlands.org/

NOYESflyer2016
Another exhibition I’m very excited and proud to be a part of is:
The NOYES MUSEUM FINE ARTS ANNUAL
4/6/16 – 7/8/16  Opening reception Friday 4/8, 5-8pm
I have 2 of my x-ray digital collages in this important exhibit.
The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University, 2200 Fairmount Ave., Atlantic City, NJ 08401
artsgarageac.com
The New Jersey Arts Annual is a unique series of exhibitions highlighting the works of visual artists and craftspeople in the state. Chosen for their excellence, these artists present works of drawing, photography, sculpture, painting and mixed media. Their works are compelling evidence of the outstanding talent residing in New Jersey. The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University is pleased to host this prestigious exhibition!
New Brunswick Master (c)L.Curtis

New Brunswick Master (c)L.Curtis

And even if you missed the opening reception there’s still time to view this show:
Woodbridge Artisan Guild
presents”PHOTOGRAPHY”!

Join us for our newest exhibition, which runs thru April! (I have 3 pieces in this show!)
All works in this show have been created by local artists;
themes include landmarks, nature, portraits, travel, & more!
101 Main St., Woodbridge, NJ (732)634-1474

Feast for the Senses & art news

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

You can sense the excitement in the air as spring all too slowly approaches…but it’s on the way!  And as with all new seasons, comes new art events, especially in New Jersey!  While it’s still too cold for outdoor fests and shows, there are plenty of indoor art exhibits to attend and the following I’m involved with this month are all FREE so no excuse not to check them out!  I hope you’ll join me and many other local, talented artists at these exhibitions:

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

FEAST FOR THE SENSES…Group Art Exhibit
Work by local artists (most living, some not) will be on display from March 7 through March 28, 2016, in the library’s community room. Participating artists include: Judy Brodsky, Joan Arbeiter, Lauren Curtis, Ria Glassman, Joyce Browning, Eric Escobar, Virginia Swanagan, Pat Shamy, Sydney Jean Reisen, Nadine Berkowsky, Jackie Baker, Jill Caporlingua. Deceased artists whose work will be displayed include: Jacob Landau, Stanford White, F. J. Adams, John LaFarge.

The Opening Reception for this Art Show (on Thursday, March 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM in the Carl T. Valenti Community Room) will provide light refreshments and an opportunity to meet and talk with some of the artists.  I’ll have a few paintings in this show.  Here’s Facebook invite link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1694806214135180/

NOLA Cemetery Path (c)2010 Lauren Curtis

NOLA Cemetery Path (c)2010 Lauren Curtis

SACRED SPACES, HOLY PLACES
There’s still time to see this enlightening exhibit of sculpture & photography with 27 artists / 43 pieces of work / 13 pieces of sculpture / 30 photographs.   Aside from being an exhibit, related spiritual & cultural discussions & events typically take place during the run of the show so check the gallery’s website & Facebook page for info.  Nails in the Wall Gallery at St. Luke’s, 17 Oak Ave, Metuchen, New Jersey 08840.
I have 2 photographs in the exhibition which continues until
Sunday, May 15, 2016.

Melody Bar Art (c)2015 Lauren Curtis

Melody Bar Art (c)2015 Lauren Curtis

And a quick question…Do you have a favorite place that you wish you could visit forever?  How about immortalize a beloved home, vacation spot, hang out or historic site in ART?  Commission a pen & ink with watercolor painting of a place you’d like to remember forever!  Contact me for details: forestwalker333@hotmail.com

For more of my work, please visit my newly updated website! http://laurencurtisart.weebly.com

Thanks for reading!

~Lauren

Sacred Spaces, Holy Places

A life-sized Islamic Prayer Niche…a sculpture conveying a Jewish woman’s experience with sacred space…a nearly 5’ ilphachrome color photograph of Bernini’s Canopy in St. Peter’s in Rome…evocative photographs of both outdoor and indoor spaces…an unusual combination?  But all highlights in the upcoming exhibit at Nails in the Wall, the Gallery at St. Luke’s, the Metuchen exhibition space sponsored by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 17 Oak Ave., Metuchen, NJ. Sacred Spaces, Holy Places: an exhibit of sculpture & photography will begin the gallery’s 2016 winter exhibition season with the Opening & Artists’ Reception Saturday, January 30, 2-5pm. The event is free and open to all.

One of our goals at the gallery is always to bring together diverse voices from varied religious traditions around a common theme. In this instance, what makes a space sacred? What does a sacred space look like?  Work representing 27 artists is primarily, but not only, from the tri-state area. The photography includes a wide range of haunting images, some almost abstract, others capturing very specific locations that carry a sense of the sacred for the artist. Notable among those is the over 4’ Ilphachrome color photograph of Bernini’s Canopy in St. Peter’s in Rome by Nancy Ori (Berkeley Heights). Perhaps one of the most thought-provoking pieces, “V’at Alit”, by Miriam Stern (Teaneck) includes a series of photographs and other materials highlighting her experience of sacred space as a Jewish woman. Several very local photographers have work included in the show: Mark Harris (Edison) with his elegant figures and the carefully viewed spaces of Robert Hopkins (Metuchen). Lauren Curtis will have two 35mm black & white photos taken in the famous Louis I Cemetery in New Orleans, LA.  This above ground burial site is one of the most famous cemeteries in the US & the site where supposedly the infamous VooDoo Queen Marie LaVeaus is entombed.

NOLA.Marie's Tomb Flowers (c)2010

The 13 pieces of sculpture are very diverse in scale and materials and include free-standing pieces as well as sculptural wall works. Included in this group is a 6’ sculpture by Christina Saj (Cedar Grove), which has an exhibition history that includes, among others, St. John the Divine, NYC and the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C. Towering over that piece is Daniel Nelson’s (NYC) “Niche for Maryam.” A life-sized Islamic prayer niche known as an mihrab, the piece was designed as a site-specific installation for the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, NYC, using the proportions of the sculpture of the Virgin Mary by Bela Lyon Pratt in the Church’s Altar of the Annunciation. Nails in the Wall is honored to have it on loan from St. Paul the Apostle    for the duration of the exhibit.

Three mixed-media Mayan masks from Ronald LeMahieu (Princeton), along with a variety of the photographs, remind viewers that the sacred takes many forms beyond Church buildings.

Between 3 and 3:30pm, several artists’ talks will take place.

John Sharp, Gallery Board Member remarks, “I am amazed that despite our limiting the media accepted into this exhibit, we have been able to curate a show of such a diversity of scale and approach. It will truly be exciting to see which sacred space speaks to each visitor.”

Creating a sense of ‘sacred space’ through sound for the Reception itself, pianist, composer, and recording artist, John Bianculli will be performing. Refreshments will be provided by our ‘art partner’ The Metuchen Inn.

The exhibit will continue on view until May 15, 2016. For more information, visit http://www.nailsinthewall.com/ or contact Linda LaStella, Director@nailsinthewall.org.

The Facebook invite link is: https://www.facebook.com/events/159308764435405

NJ Community thru Art

Winter House 3, (c)Lauren Curtis 35mm B&W photo

“Jersey-ites” are a proud folk and we do have many types of communities throughout this small state; historic, artistic, cultural, musical, etc. so it’s no wonder that the Woodbridge Artistan Guild is having an exhibition focusing on this theme titled “COMMUNITY”.

Winter House 3, (c)Lauren Curtis 35mm B&W photo

Winter House 3, (c)Lauren Curtis 35mm B&W photo

Join the Woodbridge Artisan Guild on Sat., January 16th at 7pm for an opening reception of our newest exhibition!

All works in this show have been created by Woodbridge area artists and the theme of community includes local landmarks, New Jersey, family, civic pride, neighbors, and our towns.

In addition to local art this event will include live music and refreshments provided by Mulberry Street Restaurant. FREE event.  WAG Gallery, 101 Main St., Woodbridge (732)634-1474
I have three photographs in this show. 

Giving Thanks

 

What are you thankful for?   This Thursday, all over the US, people will be gathering with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving and even though it can be tough sometimes to have perspective when things are difficult, especially given the horrible acts that have been committed in this world in both the past & present, it is important to take a minute and reflect on the good things in our lives and what we are thankful for!

I’m very thankful for all of you who support the arts and to those who have supported my work!  It’s so important to me and has allowed me to follow my dream of being a full-time artist…every sale and commission, no matter how big or small, are equally as valuable and appreciated.  So, I’d like to share some of my Autumn photographs with you to say THANK YOU for your support and to wish everyone a HAPPY, HEALTHY THANKSGIVING!

 

Art for Revelation/Revolution

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

Gallery spaces these days have expanded far beyond the typical white-walled, NYC (or insert big city here) space…and this is a great thing as it opens up so many more opportunities for artists to show their work and for it to be seen by a wider range of people!  One of these newer spaces that I really enjoy exhibiting my work in is Nails in the Wall Gallery, located within the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Metuchen, NJ.

This Saturday, 1/24, from 2pm-5pm, the newest exhibition opens up with a fascinating reception featuring in-depth talks with some of the artists about their work and how it relates to the current theme of “Revelation/Revolution” and how this applies to all forms of “organized religion”.  I’ll have the 2 pieces in this blog in the show along with works from other artists from across the US!  If you’re in the area, please join us…here’s more info. supplied by the gallery:

Nails in the Wall, the Metuchen art gallery sponsored by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (17 Oak Ave. / Metuchen),

will begin its 2015 Season Saturday, January 24, 2-5pm, with REVELATION / REVOLUTION. 

This exhibit will include work from nearly twenty artists both from around the U.S.

as well as outside the country, with art that focuses on the power of God’s Word.  

 

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

Local photographer David Glasofer will speak at the Opening,

along with Teaneck sculptor Anthony Santella,

Ontario, Canada artist Shakil Kahn and Sara Paige Hoag from Urbana, IL. 

 

Join us for this free event with high quality art and refreshments provided by the Metuchen Inn!

 

Omen (c)2011 Lauren Curtis

Omen (c)2011 Lauren Curtis, oil painting with decoupage

The exhibit, which includes painting, photography, mixed-media and free standing sculpture,

runs from January 24 through May 31, 2015. 

The gallery is open daily. Times and other details can be found at www.nailsinthewall.com

or by contacting the Gallery Director, 732.322.6512 / EarthsongsCeramicStudio@gmail.com