We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Lopez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lauren, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe that risks are inherent to being an artist. Making work is a personal process, and sharing that with the public feels like sharing a piece of my soul. There is potential for so many outcomes – will viewers understand? Care? Hate it? Love it? My work ties back to my own experiences and identity, so I’m exposing myself when I make work. However, I find that the more I dive into my practice, the more I revel in this element of risk. It’s exciting to not know what will happen next!

In my installation “I remember in vibrant technicolor brilliance,” I had phones where viewers could listen to me sharing my secrets. Being this vulnerable is extremely intimidating. I work on a project until I know it’s ready, and when I’m at peace with it, I release it into the world. Everyone interacts with art differently, and I have no control over that. With this installation, my vulnerability created an atmosphere of openness and acceptance. Some of the viewers started to share their own secrets – it became something celebrated, to be honest and genuine. I found it’s incredibly freeing to allow myself to be comfortable with the unknown – taking risks is always an adventure.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am fascinated by memory – core questions throughout my work are: what does is look like when we remember? And what does it feel like? When I work on a piece, I start with a memory of a place that I want to explore. I seek out textures, colors, objects, and anything I can that feels like the memory. I layer everything together, searching for cohesion and balance. I work and re-work a piece until I feel the memory within it. The best part is listening to viewers’ reactions. Often, the viewer relates their own memories to the image they see, and it becomes intertwined with my memory, creating a unique experience for each viewer. It’s unbelievably rewarding to know that my memories have meshed with someone else’s, bringing life to something new and exciting. When a piece is purchased, the viewer collects that memory, giving it life, and the chance to change and grow.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start out with breakfast from Bread Winners Café & Bakery – the chai tea latte and pastries are to die for. Then, we’d hit up the Dallas Arboretum for gorgeous blooms, water features, and a lovely stroll. They have a concert series with live music on Thursdays that is absolutely delightful. Take some time to sit on the green and look out over White Rock Lake. For lunch during the week, Matt’s Rancho Martinez is a must – try their Bob Armstrong dip and check out the gorgeous blue booths at the Lakewood location. I’d also love to take a short trip out of town to visit the Fort Worth Water Gardens. But let’s not forget about dessert! No trip is complete without a treat from Sweet Daze, where as they say, a picture is worth a thousand calories. The Sweet Tooth Hotel is not to be missed, where an incredible art installation and candy themed bar await. Before you go, walk around Deep Ellum and grab a beignet from Bon Temps. Finish your visit with shopping at Lone Chimney Mercantile on Main Street. Right down the street, end your day with some delicious sushi from Genroku Sushi & Grill, because let’s face it – what’s not to love?

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am lucky to have the most incredible support system! My mom, Tracy, and brother, Landon, have trekked through snow, ice, and rushing rivers to help me get the perfect image. My close friends, Danielle, Rachel, and Sanaya have helped me haul my tripod, lights, and camera gear all over the world as I explore different ideas of place and identity. My grandma, Joey, never fails to boost my spirits when I’m doubting myself. I am deeply grateful and cannot thank them enough for the love, encouragement, and support they have given me through the years!

Website: www.laurenelenalopez.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/laurenelenastudio

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