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Laura Locke's Unique art on display at OAC

August 06, 2014 - By Meg Peters

Review Staff Writer

From far away her pieces reflect the mastery of a photographer and hand of a painter.

Up close, the viewer finds more meaning in discovering the intricate layers and textures of Artist of the Year Laura Locke's compelling pieces.

"I try to use value to recreate images that I find appealing," the artist said at her Meet the Artist reception July 17 at the Orion Art Center. "I allow people to find their own meaning."

Locke has a passion for history and for fabric. Inspired by the emotion she finds in vintage images, the artist has fused her two interests to create a unique style incorporating modern thought as a means to unlock the past.

"I collect vintage magazines, old books that are falling apart, scraps of poems or advertisements—things that wouldn't necessarily survive that long, and apply them to my canvas so they can have a longer life," she said.

Her favorite piece, standing 12 feet high, was recently accepted to Art Prize, a global open art competition held annually in Grand Rapids. The portrait of a dark beauty—her daughter—will be on display with other pieces until August 13 at the Orion Art Center.

"It's mesmerizing, I wish I could do this," April Strnad said at the show. "It's just beautiful and it feels so good when you're here. Its stirs something up here," she said pointing to her head.

The mixed media artist has big plans for her unique art work.

"I really hope to expand. I'm constantly entering exhibitions and competitions," she said. "It gives me the perfect sort of soap box to express what is bothering me without words, because people don't always listen."

Her goal is for her artwork to make it out to the east and west coasts after starting humbly in Lake Orion.

The first venue for her original work was Margot's Gallery and Frame in Oxford which has since closed.

"She had my pieces all over the hallway and I was selling them it was wonderful," Locke said. "All in all, this is where I started. This is where there are so many talented people. It's crazy, it's like there's something in the water."

The display is located at the Orion Art Center, 115 S. Anderson St.

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