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 or contact Linda LaStella,

The Facebook invite link is:

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. 

New Year, New Art Adventures!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Can you believe it’s 2011 already?? I hope you had a great holiday season & now we start a fresh, new year. I’m starting off with new art exhibits & new art products available now:

1. I have a new photo collage in Caladan Gallery’s FAMILY juried art exhibit ONLINE for ALL to see, anytime, anywhere:
Show runs thru 1/31/11.

2. That photo collage is getting around! The same piece was accepted in the juried exhibit See All The People & a framed 11×14 print will be on display
in the South Brunswick, NJ Municipal Gallery! So, any locals can see it live & in person. Opening reception to meet all the artists in the show is
Tues., Jan. 11, 2011, 6:30pm-8pm, 540 Rt. 522/Ridge Rd., Monmouth Jct., NJ 08852
732-329-4000 ext. 7635 My piece was also the image selected for the exhibit’s postcard!

3. Due to the popularity of my short sleeve arTshirts, they’re now available in WOMEN’S CUT short sleeve (white only) &, in time for Winter,
LONG SLEEVE SHIRTS (white or black)!!
Please visit (the shirts & cards section) for designs. Available in all sizes, 100% pre-shrunk cotton. Paypal accepted to Please email with size, color & design for price quote. Discount for 3+ shirts ordered!!

Wishing you a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year! Thanks for reading!
~Lauren (commercial & fine art) (fine art, photography, art updates), T-shirts, photography, illustration)

New Guest Blog; An Artist’s View of Belfast

I love guest blogging with other artists as it allows all of us to see and read about things we might not normally find on our own. Here’s the latest guest blog by photographer Joe Western, a talented guy I met on Facebook (& check out the link to his blog on the right side bar…I’m a guest on his blog as well!):

A Northern Industrial Town
Back in January of this year, I had set out on my first trip to London with some friends. Deciding first to fly into Dublin, then taking a bus up to Belfast for a few days. Unfortunately we never made it to Dublin, and due to a major snow storm, were diverted directly to Belfast. Though I was looking forward to checking out things like The Book of Kels, and the Oscar Wilde House, Northern Ireland’s capitol city had it’s own historical allure – especially music wise – to keep me intrigued…
These photos were taken with the Holga, a cheap plastic ‘toy’ camera with minimal features, utilized by many photographers for the novelty of its often dreamy, and ethereal qualities – or flaws, depending on how you look at it.

The Cathedral Quarter located in the easterly side of the City Centre, is a sort of up-and-coming area. There are galleries such as the Red Barn, and Oh Yeah Music Centre (everyone I met seemed to pronounce it as Oh Yay) which had a fantastic retrospective on the local music scene, displaying everything from a bottle of Thin Lizzy whiskey to one of the Undertone’s leather jackets. Around the corner is The Black Box cafe, which is also a few doors down from what was once the Harp Bar, a local venue which hosted many a punk gig throughout the 70s and 80s. Saint Anne’s Cathedral stands at the corner of Donegal and Academy Street, with a towering Celtic cross adorning its facade. Several blocks down are the burnt out remnants of what once was the North Street Arcade, notable as being the former location of Terri Hooley’s Good Vibrations record shop and label – the man who of course introduced the world to a Derry band called the Undertones, as well as other exciting NI bands like Rudi, and The Outcasts.

The Shankill located in the Western part of the city is a dominantly Protestant neighborhood. It directly borders the dominantly Catholic Falls Road area – location of the Sinn Fein headquarters. The two communities are divided by one of the first peace lines to be built at the beginning of The Troubles in the late sixties. On both sides of the wall, large murals in tribute of fallen members of various paramilitary groups adorn the sides of many housing estates. The wall which extends west from the city center and separates the Shankill and Falls Road is not the only peace line that divides the Protestant-Loyalist, and Catholic-Republican communities, there are around 40 separate walls dividing the two communities into many different pockets throughout the city. There are ‘Black Taxi Tours’ which can be arranged, and will take you through these West Belfast neighborhoods to see the various political murals, and whose drivers will explain a bit of the history. A seemingly odd, and slightly morbid attraction in some respects, but I imagine they must be fairly popular, and they will indeed give you a better understanding of the country’s long standing conflict.

A walk down Great Victoria street will lead you past several notable Belfast landmarks. First is the Europa hotel, with a reputation as being Europe’s ‘most bombed hotel’ as well as accommodating The Clash on their famously canceled Belfast debut. Further on down, past the notable Crown Bar, and Queen’s University, you would come to the Belfast Botanical Gardens. Coming down Great Victoria one night, I paused to take in the amazing sight of countless flickering street lights shining in the hills surrounding the city, which could be seen over the rooftops of West Belfast. Though I didn’t capture it on film, it’s the image I recall most vividly when I think of my time in the city.

Johnny Thunders upon visiting Belfast in the late eighties described it as something “like Detroit used to be in 74”, which was at a time when the City Centre was still barricaded and guarded by check points. Since the Good Friday agreement in 1998, which required the IRA to decommission it’s weapons in exchange for the release of political prisoners, violence in the city has been on the downturn. There is still reports of rioting as recently as this year, when Protestants march through Catholic neighborhoods to celebrate King William’s 1690 victory over the Irish, proving that many still hold to their sectarian attitudes. Though Belfast rarely makes it to the top of anyone’s list of travel destinations, let alone in the middle of January, it’s quite a different experience in comparison to the countless stories I’ve heard of people’s visits to Dublin – which more or less amount to a trip to the Guinness Factory, or possibly the Jameson Distillery if daring enough. Most importantly, I gained a much better understanding of Northern Ireland’s historical struggle for independence, and a stronger sympathy for the hardship it’s people have endured over the centuries. We then moved on to spend a few days in London, something I had looked forward to for years, but with the kindness and hospitality shown by those I met in Belfast it left an overall impression that was hard to match.

Art News for June; Outdoor Fest & More…

Greetings! It’s that art update time once again, & the longer, Spring days & nice weather have been inspiring many of us artists (of all types) to create & exhibit new art. So, here’s where you can see my work (& sometimes me) next:
On Sat. June 5 (rain date June 6) I’ll be at the juried 8th Annual East Brunswick, NJ Fine Arts Fest! This FREE art event for the whole family will take place from 10am-4pm @ Municipal Pond on Ryders Lane, E. Bruns., NJ. For more info:
Come out & enjoy work from a variety of local artists!

Prints are now available of my award-winning photo collage, “Microcosm/macrocosm Tree (1st Place, Ray Bradbury Art Contest, Illinois): 8×10: $50, 11×14: $75 (signed & matted, please add $5ea. s/h/ins. for 8×10, $7ea. for s/h/ins., 11×14) Paypal, checks & $ orders accepted!) Note: 8x1o prints matted to 11×14, 11×14 prints matted to 16×20.

More shows & events coming soon: hint about a future project; BARCELONA photos! And I’ve posted NEW ARTWORK on (see the Mystics, Mourners, etc. page 2 & Digi Photos page 2.)
Stay tuned & thanks again for reading! Hope to see you at an event soon!
🙂 Lauren (commercial & fine art) (fine art, photography, art updates) (cards, T-shirts, photography, illustration)
Micro/Macrocosm Tree

Get Your Freak On! In Boston!

Hi All…well, my art is really getting around this month and I’ll have a piece in the cool, “lowbrow” Boston gallery, Space 242. Lowbrow art is finally getting the recognition it deserves, and as a long-time fan, and sometimes creator, of & in this style, I’m so excited to have a piece in this new exhibit! If you’re in the Boston area, please check out this 100 artist show…and take some photos for me…would be so cool to post them here!!
Here’s all the info. & I’ve included the flyer & my accepted mixed medium piece!

GET YOUR FREAK ON! Celebrating Circus Folk, Carnies & Sideshow Freaks
Music/Arts – Opening
Start Time:
Friday, April 30, 2010 at 6:00pm
End Time:
Friday, May 21, 2010 at 8:00pm
SPACE 242, Boston’s Lowbrow Destination
Final Fridays Continue at SPACE 242!
Celebrating Circus Folk, Carnies & Sideshow Freaks
Featuring Work by Over 100 Artists in Many Mediums (see full list below)

April 30-May 21, 2010
Opening Reception Friday, April 30, 6-8pm
To attend, RSVP at

Artist Talk Friday, May 21st, 7-8pm
Gallery Hours Fridays 6:30-8pm

Alyssa Adams, Brian Patrick Adams, Stephen Andersen, Marietta Apoloino, Amanda Atkikns, Jessica Baer, Allison Bamcat, Josh Baptista, EJ Barnes, Jeff Bartell, Sean Bixby, Jade Bojkovik, Lindsey Boss, Craig Bostick, Kristin Boucher, Matt Brecke, Rocco Britalini, Scott Bruns, Kwesi Budu-Arthur, KC Burney, Alex Carlson, Keenan Cassidy, David Christopher, Amanda Clarke, Derek Coss, Allison Cowell, Michael Crockett, Ed Curran, Mary Curtin, Lauren Curtis, Mick Cusimano, Kelly Davidson, R Davis, Joseph Dellgatta, Sarah Dolan, Ryan Dubois, Christopher Elsasser, Enid Esmond, Jyll Ethier-Mullen, Logan Faerber, Jamie Fales, Lori Faridi , Andy Fish, E. Stephen Frederick, Ashley Freeland, Michael Georgeson, Matt Gilpin, Darren Goldman, Tom Grady, Brian Gubicza, Julian Guzman, Veronica Hebard, Ariele Hertzoff, Jeff Horwatt, Olivia Ives-Flores, Andrew Jacob, Jason Kan, Patt Kelley, Nicole Kelly, Sarah Kim, Derek Kouyoumjian, Chelsea Lane, Scott Lefton, Jennifer Lewis, Vanessa Ly, Nathalie Magri, Bob Maloney, John Maneval, Geoff Marian, Joey Mars, Joanna Matuck, Greg Mautafis, Matt McKee, William McKee, Jacob Miller, Gregery Miller, Edward Monovich, Tyler Moran, George Motta, Judi Muscara Orfanos, Jane O’Hara, Greg Orfanos, Dana Pearson, Rhonda Ratray, Doug Richardson, Derek Ring, Britany Rode, Heather Rose, Caitlin Ryan, Felisia Sainz, Toni Lee Sangastiano, Jacob Santa-Cruz, Evan Scannell, Jermey Schultz, Lisa Scollan, Jessica Scott, Walter Sickert, Kris Smith, Robert Stearns, Lydia Stein, Ken Stewart, Stones, Cole Swaveley, Adam Swinbourne, Jared Tharpe, Paul Timmons, Tom Torrey, Katherine Waddell, Paul Weiner, Aaron White, Bob Wilson, John Wiltshire, Christopher Wright, Sojung Yu

Sideshows & Spring Art; My Next Exhibits (NJ, MA & Online)!

Hi Everyone! Hope all’s well. I’ve been creating new artwork & preparing for a bunch of new exhibits in NJ & MA, as well as online, so I hope you’ll be able to check some of them out.
Here’s what’s happening:

1. Please join me for my solo B&W photography exhibit, “Journeys in Black & White” (flyer attached) hosted by the beautiful Haven salon in Highland Park, NJ. The opening reception party is Sat. 4/24/10, 7:30pm-10:30pm, 333 Raritan Ave., Highland Park, NJ. There’ll be wine, munchies, music &, of course, a selection of my 35mm B&W travel & cemetery photography. If you’re in the area, you don’t want to miss this unique event!

2. I’m so excited to have photos accepted for the
“Get Your Freak On!” exhibit at Space 242, Boston, MA!
As many of you know, I love Coney Is., side-shows & “uniqueness”; this show is “a visual homage to circus freaks, carnies & sideshow misfits” so I HAD to submit work! I only wish I was able to attend the opening in person, but I have a friend in MA who will be my eyes & ears (thanks again, Caladan folks!!) But if you’re in the Boston area, check out this cool show; opening reception Fri. April 30, 6-8pm. FREE w/ RSVP! Show runs thru May 21, 2010.

3. And for everyone who can’t make it in person to an exhibit,
I have 3 photos in the new ONLINE Caladan Gallery show,
“Elemental Spring”, featuring artists from across the US!
The dates for the on-line posting of this exhibition
are April 1 – April 30, 2010 on

4. Last but not least I’ll have a pen & ink/watercolor piece in the
“Spring Song” juried exhibit at the So. Brunswick Arts Commission
Gallery in the So. Bruns., NJ Municipal Bldg., 540 Rt. 522/Ridge Rd.,
Monmouth Junction, NJ.
Opening reception is Tues. April 20, 6:30-8:00pm. Show runs thru June 30.

I appreciate you reading this e-art-update and for checking out the artwork. See ya at the shows!
Take care,
Lauren (commercial & fine art) (fine art, photography, art updates) (cards, T-shirts, photography, illustration)

Postcard for my solo show at haven

Postcard for my solo art show at haven