# Arts in Milwaukee – Lauren Zens – art
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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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  • “SHRIX”SHRIX

    2008 acrylic on hardboard 24 x 20 x 1/8 inches

  • “EX”EX

    2010 acrylic on hardboard 24 x 20 x 1/8 inches

  • “FRUSS”FRUSS

    2011 acrylic on hardboard 20 x 24 x 1/8 inches

  • “WETCH”WETCH

    2012 acrylic on hardboard 20 x 24 x 1/8 inches

  • “HELIO”HELIO

    2012 acrylic on hardboard 20 x 24 x 1/8 inches

  • “HART”HART

    2012 acrylic on hardboard 20 x 24 x 1/8 inches

  • “BOCK”BOCK

    2013 acrylic on hardboard 20 x 24 x 1/8 inches

  • “TOKI”TOKI

    2013 acrylic on hardboard 18 x 24 x 1/8 inches

  • “PIKIT”PIKIT

    2013 acrylic on hardboard 20 x 24 x 1/8 inches

  • “SHISCK”SHISCK

    2013 acrylic on hardboard 20 x 24 x 1/8 inches

  • “OBLIN”OBLIN

    2014 acrylic on hardboard 12 x 12 x 1 inches

  • “YAPLIN”YAPLIN

    2014 acrylic on hardboard 12 x 12 x 1 inches

  • “RAGLIN”RAGLIN

    2014 acrylic on hardboard 12 x 12 x 1 inches

  • “DELLETH”DELLETH

    2014 acrylic on hardboard 20 x 24 x 1/8 inches

  • “ARKITAR”ARKITAR

    2014 acrylic on hardboard 20 x 24 x 1/8 inches

  • “PAKYA”PAKYA

    2016 acrylic on hardboard 48 x 36 x 2 inches

  • “ZUBEY”ZUBEY

    2017 acrylic on hardboard 48 x 36 x 2 inches

  • “ZORGAI”ZORGAI

    2018 acrylic on hardboard 12 x 12 x 1 inches

  • “ZOBAI”ZOBAI

    2018 acrylic on hardboard 12 x 12 x 1 inches

  • “CORSI”CORSI

    2018 acrylic on hardboard 20 x 24 x 1/8 inches

  • “SOLITE”SOLITE

    2019 acrylic on hardboard 30 x 30 x 2 inches

  • “GAYKES”GAYKES

    2020 acrylic on hardboard 40 x 14 x 2 inches

  • “RAYKES”RAYKES

    2020 acrylic on hardboard 40 x 14 x 2 inches

  • “YAYKES”YAYKES

    2020 acrylic on hardboard 40 x 14 x 2 inches

  • “SARRE”SARRE

    2020 acrylic on hardboard 16 x 16 x 1.5 inches

Lauren Zens

  • Art
I am an Art Professional

Support This Artist
Contact Info
Bay View, WI 53207 US

info@laurenzens.com
My Sites

artist bio

After graduating from Columbia College Chicago in 2012 with a BA in Music Business, Lauren returned to her roots in Milwaukee in 2013. Her interest in contemporary abstract and geometric art started in 2008 with a hard-edge assignment during a high school painting class. Her Golden acrylic paint, 3M blue painter’s tape, and a quilting ruler are now her most cherished tools.

Lauren landed her first solo exhibit in 2013 in Chicago and her art-making progressed from there. Greeted with a thriving arts community upon her homecoming to Milwaukee, she's gained exposure in the local market, showing her artwork at bars, boutiques, and galleries. As Lauren’s goals have accelerated toward a full-time career, Lauren spends her free time painting as a creative and therapeutic outlet.

Lauren received her MA in Community Arts from Eastern Illinois University in 2019. Her graduate research focused on three primary topics: equitable and inclusive community engagement, maximum learning for under-resourced youth, and the opportunity for progressive, student-centered learning to transform the current landscape of education. Lauren has spent 15 years working with youth of various ages, backgrounds, and abilities, and hopes to use her master’s degree to support multidisciplinary, exploratory, community-based arts opportunities for youth and families.

artist statement

I never expected to find a real purpose in a protractor after high school, but my artistic desire to create trippy, colorful mazes has led me, somehow, to accumulate three protractors. And two compasses. And seven rulers.

My Golden acrylic paint, 3M blue painter’s tape, and quilting ruler are also among my most cherished tools. I work out of my spare bedroom, spending 40-70 hours planning, painting, and polishing each piece. Each begins with a pencil sketch, usually improvised and organic, on a primed hardboard. In order to achieve the optical illusions and movement of repetitive patterns, things often need to be calculated. And by calculated, I mean exactitude by an eighth-inch. The sketching stage is when the measuring tools play their biggest role: a quarter inch space between two half-inch lines, intersecting with another half-inch line at a 60° angle, repeat. I go through at least one roll of painter’s tape per painting, using a credit card and/or gel medium to keep the tape down and the lines crisp. Most of my colors are mixed and placed adjacent to one another for high contrast, with at least three coats of paint for opacity.

Although I put forth an immense amount of time, attention, and effort into creating my paintings, I, believe it or not, try not to take the concept of being an artist too seriously. The titles of my paintings are made up (non)words. ARKITAR, HELIO, YAPLIN are sounds that came out of my mouth when I looked at the finished pieces. Ultimately, my driving force is the challenge of creating paintings that appear digitally produced, while incorporating simple, traditional principles of art, like rhythm, movement, and unity.
There is a negative perception behind being a perfectionist, especially as an artist, but really, I completed a hard edge assignment in high school and it’s landed me here. So I’m okay with it. I don’t pretend to have a BFA, but I educate myself and develop new techniques. As I’ve progressed in my practice since 2008, I have begun experimenting and I feel like I’m on the cusp of something new. I have an itch to try new things, but also maintain the art form I’ve created out of perfectionism.

So, I’ll continue to do what Mrs. Hall taught me in high school geometry class, something I thought would never have a real-life application: use that handy protractor.