Lea Basile Lazarus Environments Opening Reception
The Evanston Art Center (EAC) is proud to present a new exhibition, ENVIRONMENTS, featuring work by Lea Basile-Lazarus.
“ENVIRONMENTS” is a body of work that I have been creating over the past two years. It reflects my reactions to the world around me whether it be politics, social justice issues, community interactions, or the natural environment that surrounds me, the Pacific Northwest. As I move through the day these “environments” intersect and affect how I think and feel. We have had our share of difficult years. The pandemic continues, we are trying to navigate turbulent political forces, social injustices are continually occurring, and now there is an unjust war in Ukraine. We are all trying to navigate through our new normal, but this seems to change moment to moment. After living in Evanston for 45 years, we moved to the green, lush mountainous Pacific Northwest. I see the world through a different lens, but I am continually bombarded with global injustices. I cannot ignore that I am deeply disturbed by the happenings in our troubled world.
I make art out of the need to react, to express, and to reflect. Through the pandemic I repurposed artwork; weaving, printing, and painting on my images. I have explored the purity that embossments bring to a piece of art, but I have a need to embellish and create my personal story with obsessive mark making. I have been using contemporary printmaking and papermaking techniques to express my thoughts, but have recently begun painting since my work is becoming more fluid and spontaneous.
I work on more than one image at a time, moving from one to another, layering different stencils, shapes, and colors, while maintaining the same thought process. Paper pulp painting is spontaneous; I am actively engaged in the process. My entire body moves, from mixing pigments in paper pulp, to cutting stencils, to making marks or writing words with syringes and turkey basters with the gestural movement of my arm. The mental and physical energy it takes to think, move, and react to the images that are emerging is what makes this process so exciting and invigorating. I have brought this energy into my printmaking and painting. The mark making becomes the conversations, the emotions, and the words that are not meant to be heard. The colors can be conflicting and dramatic. They can also be peaceful in those moments when I forget and am able to breathe more freely. Exploration of these materials and contemporary techniques have provided me with the tools to create unique surfaces that express the thoughts and emotions that relate to my immediate community and the greater world.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Lea Basile-Lazarus received her BA in Art Education from The College of New Jersey and her MFA, with a concentration in printmaking, from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She taught art for 28 years, ending her teaching career at Beacon Academy, a Montessori high school in Evanston, IL. Lea has been a recipient of a Teacher Fulbright trip to Japan and she spent three weeks in Africa visiting Ghanaian schools and villages. Lea is a professional artist creating contemporary prints and paper pulp paintings, exhibiting and selling her artwork. Lea currently lives in Gig Harbor, WA, where she has a home printmaking studio. She is active in the Gig Harbor art community, where she has joined Gallery Row, a collaborative art gallery. Lea’s paper pulp paintings are created at Hook Pottery Paper in La Porte, Indiana, where she visits annually.
Lea Basile-Lazarus: ENVIRONMENTS will be on display in the Evanston Art Center’s Second Floor Gallery from July 16 – August 14, 2022, with an opening reception on Sunday, July 17 from 1-4pm. The exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public. This project is partially funded by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and EAC’s general membership.
Evanston Art Center, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, is dedicated to fostering the appreciation and expression of the arts among diverse audiences. The Art Center offers extensive and innovative instruction in broad areas of artistic endeavor through classes, exhibitions, interactive arts activities, and community outreach initiatives.
Evanston Art Center is located at 1717 Central Street, Evanston, IL. Evanston Art Center Gallery Hours: Monday– Friday, 9am–6pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9am–4pm. First and second floor gallery spaces are accessible. Limited free parking is available. Masks are optional but strongly recommended for students, visitors, and staff.
For more information, please visit us online at www.evanstonartcenter.org or Audrey Avril, Manager of Exhibitions, at 847.475.5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Evanston Art Center on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EvanstonArtCenter/, follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/#!/evartcenter, or on Instagram: @EvanstonArtCenter.