Art survives the pandemic

I hope you are all staying safe & well as these intense, unsure & scary times continue.  While NJ is slowly getting back to a semblance of normalcy…well, new normalcy…much of the rest of the country faces increasing COVID numbers!  Top that off with social injustices and unrest spreading like another virus and it’s the perfect recipe for more frightening times ahead.  With so many people falling ill and also facing horrible prejudices it’s easy to get depressed and feel hopeless.  This is why art & being able to express yourself in a positive, creative way is so important!

The art community has taken a big hit from the pandemic, like many other businesses and organizations, but it is an ancient and important form of self expression that will never be silenced!  We see Black Lives Matter street art! We see Pride art! We see art dealing with the pandemic!  Art allows us a chance to escape, to express, to vent, to share, to discuss…that’s why I’m so happy to see some local NJ galleries continuing on, however they are able, to keep our artistic community alive and well!

This month I’m excited to have a SOLO SHOW at Gallery on Main, Somerville, NJ & a piece in the virtual “Women’s Voices” show by Transformations Gallery (Metuchen, NJ)  Here are a few of my photos in these exhibits. Hope you’ll check them out…   Gallery on Main in Somerville is open to visitors who follow COVID restrictions (must wear a mask, a few visitors at a time) so please check out the exhibit in person! Here’s the link to the virtual Transformations gallery show:

Stay safe & stay creative!

The past is re-imagined by NJ collage artist.

Hope you’re all enjoying your holiday season so far!  This is the perfect time for my next guest artist blogger, as much of her work revolves around holiday/winter related themes and nostalgia for good times past!  Let me introduce you to NJ collage artist JoAnn Telemdschinow as she shares her work and it’s inspiration….


“Snow Princess”  (c)JoAnn Telemdschinow

My name is JoAnn Telemdschinow and I’m the founder of Imagined Past. I’ve always loved and been fascinated by art, but I haven’t always been sure how I should express it. While I have a background in art history, I have not studied painting or drawing. On an impulse, I started playing with collage, and found I liked it very much. In 2014, I started learning Photoshop Elements. Since then, through magazine articles and online tutorials, I’ve been developing my skills and exploring how to create different effects.

What inspires my collages? Perhaps the most obvious influence is the art and architecture of the past, medieval times, eighteenth and nineteenth century painting, as well as Chinese and Japanese art. I can happily spend hours in a museum! I also love to travel. I recently went to Paris and took photographs of beautiful old streets and buildings, some of which I’ve turned into collages. I’m interested in languages and scripts, both ancient and modern.


JoAnn Telemdschinow in Paris

A collage may originate from an image that captures my attention, or from an idea that I want to express. I often utilize vintage art to build my pieces., although I also use my own photographs. I am also fond of incorporating old texts, such as handwriting, book pages, or advertising, into the composition. I try to use texts that relate to the subject of the piece, either through content or cultural origin. Textures play an important role in my collages as well…old paper, distressed surfaces.


“I Loved You” (c)JoAnn Telemdschinow

What am I trying to convey to the viewer? Well, I myself am deeply moved by beauty so I try to make my compositions visually beautiful. Beyond that, I attempt to express a feeling or atmosphere. My pictures (like myself) tend to be reflective and nostalgic. I also sometimes imply a bit of a narrative, as in I Loved You with its forlorn woman and titular inscription.

I’ve displayed my work in a number of area venues, such as The Gallery at the South Brunswick Municipal building and Inspire Art Gallery & Studio in Dunellen. Recently, I’ve also been honored to receive awards from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation (Chair’s Merit Award, Annual Juried Art Show) and the New Brunswick Free Public Library (Third Place-Adult, 2019 Visual Arts Contest and Exhibition).


“French Roses”  (c)JoAnn Telemdschinow

What do I have planned for the future? I would like to explore photography further and use more of my own photos in my collages. I’m working to promote my artwork through social media and my website.  And I’ll be exhibiting in more shows in the upcoming year. I enjoy meeting and talking to people at shows…perhaps I’ll get to meet you at one soon!


email:      cell: 848-264-2605

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

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:

NOLA Cemetery Path (c)2010 Lauren Curtis

NOLA Cemetery Path (c)2010 Lauren Curtis

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:

For more of my work, please visit my newly updated website!

Thanks for reading!


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. 

Memories of Music City

Bourbon Blues Xmas

Travel has always been a big inspiration to me, especially as an artist, so I try to save my funds to take at least one trip per year.  This year it was Nashville, TN aka Music City!  I love music so I’ve been to many of the major live music scenes throughout the US and this November it was Nashville’s turn for a visit!  The people there are so friendly!  The food (& booze) is awesome….had some of the best comfort food ever!  Loved the bright, big neon signs down Lower Broadway and the artsy community in East Nashville.   It’s also a very affordable city as most clubs and bars don’t charge a cover fee and there are bands playing almost round the clock.  I also enjoyed the museums and historic sites like the Johnny Cash Museum. the Nashville Museum, Ryman Auditorium, original home of the Grand Ole Opry, just to name a few.  All in all, Music City kicks ass…here’s my top 10 list with some accompanying photos I took during my trip!  Yee Ha!

Bourbon Blues Xmas

Bourbon Blues Xmas

1. Robert’s Hillbilly Bar
2. GooGoo candy
3. Bourbon St. Blues Club
4. Printer’s Alley
5. BBQ
6.Best band quote; “We play adult music, not children’s music about sexy tractors and drunken pontoon rides where the kids are gettin’ sideways!”
7. Live music every 5 feet
8. Chocolate walnut pie and a cucumber infused saki bloody mary
9. REAL Southern hospitality
10. Sightseeing, eating and drinking w/ old friends & new!

Nashville photos (c)Nov. 2014 Lauren Curtis


A Witch’s Italian Adventure

As some of you know, I LOVE to travel and I try to take at least one trip a year to a new place.  As an artist I get a lot of inspiration and new photographs.  As a Wiccan, I enjoy learning about the mythology of a place and seeing ancient structures and classical art. This past November my friend and I journeyed to Italy…yes, we were two modern Witches visiting the Holy City, Rome and it’s surroundings including a trip to Naples and Pompeii.  Talk about the old meeting the new!!
We were surrounded by ancient structures built almost 2000 years ago yet still looming powerfully today.   There were amazing structures representing two millennium everywhere we turned!  We traveled far below the earth’s surface to the surreal catacombs of Rome that would make a perfect setting (and have) for role-playing video games and fantasy novels.  Seeing the walls pocked with tombs, along with the altar rooms, really made me feel like I was in another world.  The ancient ruins of Pompeii still displayed the colors and glorious past even after the monster volcano froze this city in time.  And amongst these ruins, people from 2011 roamed them like time had frozen.  The Pagan temples still stand in all their columned glory!

I shot over 400 photographs, both 35mm and digital, color and black and white, and am currently working on them for future exhibits (and hopefully print sales).  As someone who is completely fascinated by times past, this was an amazing trip filled with artistic inspiration!  And why did I mention that my traveling buddy and I are Witches (Eclectic Wiccans to be exact)?  Well, because I was booted from the Sistine Chapel!!  OK, it probably had nothing to do with the fact that I was all in black, gothic clothing, or that I have 17+ inch fingernails on both hands and long, black hair & goth-style make-up (although it was greatly toned down for this visit to Vatican City…and I showed no flesh as advised by the tour guides), but had more to do with the fact that I tried to snap a photo of their “money-maker” Michelangelo ceiling; this despite the fact that we were allowed, nay encouraged!, to take tons of pictures everywhere else in the museum and other chapels…and in one room two guards even helped me excavate my digital memory card from its tough, plastic encasing and then proceeded to pose with me!  Plus I was accused by the ornery “Sistine section guard” of taking many photos of the famed ceiling when I shot one with NO flash then turned off my camera.  He was having none of it and shuffled me out of the dark, crowded, eerily silent room.  Well, I still got to see the room and still have my blurred photo as proof I was there.  The hypocritical thing was every other room in the museum sported a gift shop with tacky mugs and puzzles of what???  Yes, the Michelangelo ceiling image!!!  Guess they don’t want anyone else making money off their “big attraction”!  Luckily I got some amazing shots of the ornately carved and painted other rooms throughout the Vatican Museum as well as the gilded and marble statues, jewels, etc. that lined every wall.

Aside from this and an incident with the evil bus ticket Gestapo, our trip was amazing. I took photos from every angle of the Coliseum,  saw Trevi Fountain lit up at night with tons of people throwing in coins and making wishes,  saw intricate and columned war memorials, the ancient Pantheon with it’s domed roof, and walked around down-town Rome enjoying the carved buildings from many eras…and especially enjoying the amazing wine and food (gelato…YUM!).  Judging from the three areas I visited, Italy is truly a country that embraces both the old and the new, ancient myths and culture as well as the modern life-style.  Most of the people were very friendly and accommodating to tourists and made us feel welcome.  In particular the gentleman who owned the little pastry shop down the street from the hotel.  We went there for our daily fix of incredible treats and he gave us surprise, free samples every time!  I think I miss you most of all, Pastry Man!

So, for all of you with adventurous spirits and a love of travel, I highly recommend a visit to Italy where you can experience a multitude of time periods all in one location!   Safe travels, All!

Note: If you’d like to see more Italy photos and are interested in ordering signed prints, please contact me for details.

Grazie!  😉 & fine art) art, photography, art updates), T-shirts, photography, illustration) Fan Page)

Hot Summer Art Events!

Summer is here already in full force, so hope you’re staying cool but enjoying the sun!  And I hope you’ll join me at these art events I have coming up:

1. ANNUAL CLOTHESLINE JURIED ART SHOW.  Every year to celebrate July 4th weekend Franklin Twnsp. holds a FREE outdoor juried art show & afterwards the best FIREWORKS in the area!  Kids booths,  art & family fun…all FREE!  SUNDAY, 7/3/11,  6:30pm-8pm then the FIREWORKS SHOW begins!  Franklin Twnsp. Municipal Complex, 475
DeMott Ln., Somerset, NJ 08873  (rain date July 8)

2. JOURNEYS 2 artist exhibit at Metuchen’s Gallery @ the Rotunda.  Join me & photographer Mark Harris for our art opening on SUNDAY 7/17/11, 4-7pm.  I’ll be exhibiting travel photography from across the US & Europe & Mark will show images from his travels as well.
The gallery is in Borough Hall, 500 Main St., Metuchen, NJ 08840  732-632-8502  Light refreshments served.  (flyer attached)
Show runs thru Sept.

3.  DEPTH OF MEANING Juried ONLINE exhibit at
You can see this show featuring some of my new 35mm B&W New Orleans photos from anywhere as it’s ONLINE!  Also featuring artists from across the US!

NOTE:  PIECETIMEPUZZLES.COM is featuring my NEW PUZZLE SERIES featuring my nighttime European photos called EUROPEAN NIGHTS!  These make affordable, unique, creative gifts or buy one for yourself to pass the time during the hot, summer days!

Thanks for reading and see you soon!!
🙂 Lauren (commercial & fine art) (fine art, photography, art updates) (cards, T-shirts, photography, illustration) (Facebook Fan Page

Piece your way thru Europe…

…with my new puzzle series, “European Nights” now available thru Piece Time Puzzles, LLC!  If you like travel & night photography then this new series of puzzles is perfect for you & make unique, creative gifts!  Visit to view my original photos shot during the beautiful night time hours in cities such as Amsterdam & Prague all made into puzzles!   Here’s a sample but you have to visit the website to see the rest….

Enjoy your travels!

Barcelona in Black & White

Hi All!
I know it’s been a couple of months since I got back from Barcelona but I’m still working on some of the 200 photos I shot during my trip to this beautiful city. Although Barcelona is FULL of color, and most of the photos I took utilized color film to capture this, I LOVE shooting in B&W film, especially when it comes to some of the gothic architecture in European cities.

So, I shot some B&W 35mm Ilford film, which gives a more grainy, “antique” look to the photos and am very happy with the results. I chose the famous cathedral, Sagrada Familia, to use this film as not only does it have the organic, dripping style of Gaudi, but a geometric, skeletal style of other famous Spanish architects as well. The photo here is a close up of the Gaudi towers located on one side of the structure. You can see some of the cranes and scaffolding since a lot of reconstruction is being done to preserve this amazing cathedral. I took this photo from the inside of the church, which is all stone and cement…this was taken from behind one of the many long, narrow stone openings in one of the towers.

More to come soon…
🙂 Lauren