Columbus Artist Laura Alexander on Studio Work, the Day Job and Recharging

By Lacey Luce, Digital Strategist, Greater Columbus Arts Council

Laura Alexander’s artwork is literally the result of a thousand little cuts. She meticulously cuts shapes into paper, which are then layered to create extraordinary works of art. She is participating in Columbus Open Studio & Stage for the second year in a row and COSS map holders can not only see where Laura creates her art, but talk to her about her process.

Lacey: How long have you been making art, and how/when did you start creating?
Laura: I’ve always made art. My mom gave me crayons/markers and paper when I was a kid and I’d entertain myself. Art was always my favorite class. My junior and senior years of high school I went to the Ft. Hayes Career Center for Visual Arts. I went on to Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) for my Bachelor of Fine Arts and after a year off went to University of Washington for my Master of Fine Arts in Fibers.

Lacey: How has your work evolved over the years?
Laura: I went to MICA on a painting scholarship, but my Intro to 3-D professor was from the Fiber Department. Because of her, I became really interested in fibers and then sculpture. My thesis work was collage and beadwork. In grad school I did installations and drew with my sewing machine before moving to etching glass. I started cutting paper in 2008 when I broke a few pieces when transporting them from a show. I had decided to draw for awhile and then started cutting my drawings.

Lacey: This is probably something you get asked a lot, but I have to ask: how long does it take you to make an average sized piece?
Laura: It depends on the detail and the number of layers, but I’d guess around 50-100 hours.

Lacey: When you work is there anything that is a “must-have” in your studio (other than tools)?
Laura: Something to listen to: music, podcasts, audiobooks, TV shows/movies.

Lacey: What do you do to recharge creatively?
Laura: I love to work in my garden, travel and read. Also, working at my day job, weirdly does that for me. It’s very detailed but uses the other half of my brain. My co-worker will sometimes say she can see my brain switching over.

Lacey: You participated in the COSS inaugural year, how’d it go? Any memories about that weekend that stand out?
Laura: I worked out of Junctionview Studios for years where we had many open studios a year. I bought a house and moved my studio into it four years ago; it was fun for me to open my doors and show people where I work now. I did short demos of my process and it was awesome to witness the “aha” moments many people had.

Lacey: If you could have anyone (dead or alive) visit your studio during COSS, who would it be?
Laura: My grandma Carolyn; she passed away in 2009. She was always very supportive of my art career. I know she would get such a kick out of what I’ve been doing and I wish she was here for me to share it with.

Columbus Open Studio & Stage is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 7-8 and features 50 artists (32 sites) city wide as well as seven stages and 12 community partners. Maps are $10 (or $18 for two, $35 for four, $75 for 10) and can be purchased online at www.columbusopenstudioandstage.com/buy. Maps are required to enter studios.



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